Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33-41

Study of safety and effectiveness of traditional dosage forms of the seed of Aristolochia elegans Mast. against malaria and laboratory investigation of pharmaco-toxicological properties and chemical constituents of its crude extracts


School of Medical Entomology and Parasitology, Mulago Paramedical Schools, Kampala, Uganda

Correspondence Address:
Yilkal Belay
School of Medical Entomology and Parasitology, Mulago Paramedical Schools, PO Box 34025, Kampala
Uganda
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.80534

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Background: Local communities in tropical regions, mainly in Africa, have used traditional herbal medicines as means of preventing and treating malaria with unrealistic experimental analysis. Aims: The safety and effectiveness of traditional dosage forms of dried seed of Aristolochia elegans mast. Was therefore assessed on 20 respondents who had been using the seed of this medicinal plant for over 1-2 years against malaria. Toxicological and pharmacological properties of ethanol and ether crude extracts of dried seed were also examined on 45 male Balb c mice. Materials and Methods: The methods used were personal interview schedule to assess safety and effectiveness of traditional dosage, evaluation of documented information, extraction of test medicinal substance, investigation of pharmaco-toxicological properties and qualitative chemical analysis. Statistical analysis was performed using data master sheets and scientific calculator. Results: The effectiveness of this seed was highly encouraging against malaria as compared to conventional antimalarial drugs. According to the respondents, relapse of malaria could usually happen with the conventional antimalarial drugs at normal doses, whereas relapse of malaria was rarely happening with the seed of A. elegans at the traditional dose taken. There were no health disorders discovered in 20 respondents who had been using the seed of this medicinal plant for over 1-2 years against malaria. However, laboratory mice died with a single dose of crude extracts at 1000-5000 mg/kg within 4-9 days after the dose was given orally. Histopathological examination showed that both crude extracts caused severe damage to the kidney and liver of Balb c mice. Four out of 10 treated Balb c mice also developed hemorrhages in the stomach, which was a strong indication of carcinogenic property of this plant material. Conclusion: A person using this herbal preparation is therefore at a higher risk of getting stomach cancer and renal and hepatic diseases.


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