Ethnopharmacological evaluation of a traditional herbal remedy used to treat gonorrhoea in Limpopo province, South Africa
South African Journal of Botany
Research Centre for Plant Growth and Development, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, South Africa; Agriculture Research Council-Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute, Private Bag X293, Pretoria, South Africa
The indigenous people from Limpopo regard herbal remedies as the most effective way of treating Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). There are several herbal remedies that they use for various purposes. This study was aimed at evaluating the efficacy of a popular herbal remedy used to treat STIs by testing for its antimicrobial activity, enzyme inhibition against HIV-type 1 reverse-transcriptase (HIV-RT) and cyclooxygenase (COX-2). The safety of the remedy was evaluated by testing for its mutagenic and anti-mutagenic effects. The herbal remedy evaluated in this study was manufactured by a traditional healer from Madiwana village in Limpopo province, South Africa. The mixture was derived from nine plant species, which were also evaluated individually. The herbal remedy was evaluated for its antimicrobial properties against two Gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus), three Gram-negative (Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae) bacteria and a fungus, Candida albicans. It was assessed for its pharmacological and genotoxicity properties. The extracts of the nine plant species were evaluated in the antigonococcal bioassay only. The herbal remedy exhibited moderate activity against N. gonorrhoeae (66%) but showed good activity against E. coli, K. pneumoniae and S. aureus with MIC values ranging from 0.78 to 1.56. mg/ml. The mixture exhibited low antifungal activity against C. albicans. The remedy exhibited insignificant and moderate activities against COX-2 and HIV-RT respectively. The remedy was non-mutagenic. Acetone extracts of Catharanthus roseus, Senna italica, Gomphocarpus fruticosus and Solanum panduriforme showed the best antigonoccol activity >. 70%. The observed activities of the herbal remedy may offer a lead to explore new multi-target drugs against gonorrhoea and other STIs. © 2014 South African Association of Botanists.
antimicrobial activity; bacterium; bioassay; drug; efficiency measurement; enzyme activity; fungus; genotoxicity; herb; human immunodeficiency virus; indigenous population; inhibition; mutagenicity; plant extract; safety; sexually transmitted disease; traditional medicine; Limpopo; South Africa; Bacillus subtilis; Candida albicans; Catharanthus roseus; Escherichia coli; Fungi; Gomphocarpus fruticosus; Human immunodeficiency virus 1; Klebsiella pneumoniae; Negibacteria; Neisseria gonorrhoeae; Posibacteria; Senna italica; Solanum panduriforme; Staphylococcus aureus