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Anti-malarial potential of Senna occidentalis leaves


In this study, researchers from Nigeria and Malaysia evaluated the ability of hexane, methanol and aqueous leaf extracts of Senna occidentalis (coffee senna) to prevent B-hematin formation in vitro. They reported their findings in an article published in the International Journal of Herbal Medicine.

  • The search for natural antimalarial agents from plant sources has yielded significant success in drug discovery approaches.
  • In Northern Nigeria, S. occidentalis, is a medicinal plant traditionally used in Hausa folk medicine to treat malaria.
  • The researchers tested the inhibitory activities of S. occidentalis leaf extract derived using different solvents against B-hematin formation and heme polymerization in vitro.
  • They reported that the methanolic and aqueous leaf extracts showed good inhibitory activities (83.08 percent and 83.97 percent, respectively) at 500 mcg/mL, while the hexane extract only inhibited B-hematin formation by 54.92 percent.
  • In vitro antimalarial assays also revealed that the extracts suppressed plasmodium growth in a dose-dependent manner.
  • At 6.25 mcg/mL, the hexane extract suppressed parasite growth by 73 percent, but this increased to 84.43 percent at 50 mcg/mL.
  • The IC50 value of the S. occidentalis hexane extract was 3.47 mcg/mL.
  • The researchers also confirmed the presence of anthraquinones, phenols, tannins, alkaloids and flavonoids in S. occidentalis.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that S. occidentalis is an excellent source of natural antimalarial agents.

Journal Reference:

Daskum AM, Godly C, Qadeer MA, Ling LY. EFFECT OF SENNA OCCIDENTALIS (FABACEAE) LEAVES EXTRACT ON THE FORMATION OF ?-HEMATIN AND EVALUATION OF IN VITRO ANTIMALARIAL ACTIVITY. International Journal of Herbal Medicine. 2019;7(3):46-51.

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