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Plants traditionally prescribed to treat tazo (malaria) in the eastern region of Madagascar.

Randrianarivelojosia M, Rasidimanana VT, Rabarison H, Cheplogoi PK, Ratsimbason M, Mulholland DA, Mauclère P - Malar. J. (2003)

Bottom Line: The current use of plants for medicinal purposes reflects the attachment of the Malagasy people to their culture, and also a lack of access to modern medicine.If plants are to be used as sources of novel antimalarial compounds, we need to increase our knowledge of their empirical use to improve plant selection.In the hope of preserving useful resources, we should now gather and record ethnobotanical data in Madagascar, and should try to bridge the gaps between empirics and realism.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Groupe de Recherche sur le Paludisme, Institut Pasteur de Madagascar BP 1274, Antananarivo (101) Madagascar. milijaon@pasteur.mg

ABSTRACT

Background: Malaria is known as tazo or tazomoka in local terminology in Madagascar. Within the context of traditional practice, malaria (and/or malaria symptoms) is commonly treated by decoctions or infusions from bitter plants. One possible approach to the identification of new antimalarial drug candidates is to search for compounds that cure or prevent malaria in plants empirically used to treat malaria. Thus, it is worth documenting the ethnobotanical data, and testing the antiplasmodial activity of the extractive from plants.

Methods: We interviewed traditional healers, known locally as ombiasy, at Andasibe in the eastern, rainy part of Madagascar. We recorded details of the preparation and use of plants for medicinal purposes. We extracted five alkaloids from Z. tsihanimposa stem bark, and tested them in vitro against Plasmodium falciparum FCM29.

Results: We found that traditional healers treat malaria with herbal remedies consisting of one to eight different plants. We identified and listed the medicinal plants commonly used to treat malaria. The plants used included a large number of species from different families. Zanthoxylum sp (Rutaceae) was frequently cited, and plants from this genus are also used to treat malaria in other parts of Madagascar. From the plant list, Zanthoxylum tsihanimposa, bitter plant endemic to Madagascar, was selected and examined. Five alkaloids were isolates from the stem bark of this plant, and tested in vitro against malaria parasite. The geometric mean IC50 values ranged from 98.4 to 332.1 micromolar. The quinoline alkaloid gamma-fagarine exhibited the strongest antiplasmodial activity.

Conclusions: The current use of plants for medicinal purposes reflects the attachment of the Malagasy people to their culture, and also a lack of access to modern medicine. The possible extrapolation of these in vitro findings, obtained with plant extracts, to the treatment of malaria and/or the signs evoking malaria is still unclear. If plants are to be used as sources of novel antimalarial compounds, we need to increase our knowledge of their empirical use to improve plant selection. In the hope of preserving useful resources, we should now gather and record ethnobotanical data in Madagascar, and should try to bridge the gaps between empirics and realism.

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Authentic voucher specimen of Zanthoxylum tsihanimposa fruits, kept at the Botany Department of the National Park, which we used for plant sample identification (Photo: Harison Rabarison)
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Figure 2: Authentic voucher specimen of Zanthoxylum tsihanimposa fruits, kept at the Botany Department of the National Park, which we used for plant sample identification (Photo: Harison Rabarison)

Mentions: In targeting plants which might contain antimalarial compounds, attention was focused on the plants used to make infusions and decoctions to treat malaria. Zanthoxylum tsihanimposa (figures 1; 2 and 3) is known as a plant used in the treatment of malaria. It can be used alone (see plant list). The genus Zanthoxylum is used not only in the Andasibe region (eastern part of Madagascar), but also in the western parts of Madagascar (Rabarison & Randrianarivelojosia, unpublished). We, therefore, decided to collect and investigate Z. tsihanimposa. Plant material was collected from Ankarafantsika, in the wetter north-western part of Madagascar. The chemical extraction and analysis were carried out at the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa in 2001. The crude hexane extract of the stem bark of Z. tsihanimposa was fractionated by liquid chromatography over silica gel (Merck 9385) using a mixture of various proportions of dichloromethane and methanol. Antimalarial in vitro tests were performed at the Institut Pasteur de Madagascar. In vitro chemosensitivity tests were performed with the isotopic microtest method [9,10]. P. falciparum FCM29 strain resistant to chloroquine but susceptible to quinine – cultured in our laboratory according to the method described by Trager and Jensen [11] – was used to assess the antimalarial activity of the compounds tested. Quinine base (Sigma, St Louis, MO, USA) was tested as the reference antimalarial drug (figure 5). The antimalarial activity of the compound tested was expressed as the IC50 i.e. 50% inhibitory concentration [10].


Plants traditionally prescribed to treat tazo (malaria) in the eastern region of Madagascar.

Randrianarivelojosia M, Rasidimanana VT, Rabarison H, Cheplogoi PK, Ratsimbason M, Mulholland DA, Mauclère P - Malar. J. (2003)

Authentic voucher specimen of Zanthoxylum tsihanimposa fruits, kept at the Botany Department of the National Park, which we used for plant sample identification (Photo: Harison Rabarison)
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC184444&req=5

Figure 2: Authentic voucher specimen of Zanthoxylum tsihanimposa fruits, kept at the Botany Department of the National Park, which we used for plant sample identification (Photo: Harison Rabarison)
Mentions: In targeting plants which might contain antimalarial compounds, attention was focused on the plants used to make infusions and decoctions to treat malaria. Zanthoxylum tsihanimposa (figures 1; 2 and 3) is known as a plant used in the treatment of malaria. It can be used alone (see plant list). The genus Zanthoxylum is used not only in the Andasibe region (eastern part of Madagascar), but also in the western parts of Madagascar (Rabarison & Randrianarivelojosia, unpublished). We, therefore, decided to collect and investigate Z. tsihanimposa. Plant material was collected from Ankarafantsika, in the wetter north-western part of Madagascar. The chemical extraction and analysis were carried out at the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa in 2001. The crude hexane extract of the stem bark of Z. tsihanimposa was fractionated by liquid chromatography over silica gel (Merck 9385) using a mixture of various proportions of dichloromethane and methanol. Antimalarial in vitro tests were performed at the Institut Pasteur de Madagascar. In vitro chemosensitivity tests were performed with the isotopic microtest method [9,10]. P. falciparum FCM29 strain resistant to chloroquine but susceptible to quinine – cultured in our laboratory according to the method described by Trager and Jensen [11] – was used to assess the antimalarial activity of the compounds tested. Quinine base (Sigma, St Louis, MO, USA) was tested as the reference antimalarial drug (figure 5). The antimalarial activity of the compound tested was expressed as the IC50 i.e. 50% inhibitory concentration [10].

Bottom Line: The current use of plants for medicinal purposes reflects the attachment of the Malagasy people to their culture, and also a lack of access to modern medicine.If plants are to be used as sources of novel antimalarial compounds, we need to increase our knowledge of their empirical use to improve plant selection.In the hope of preserving useful resources, we should now gather and record ethnobotanical data in Madagascar, and should try to bridge the gaps between empirics and realism.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Groupe de Recherche sur le Paludisme, Institut Pasteur de Madagascar BP 1274, Antananarivo (101) Madagascar. milijaon@pasteur.mg

ABSTRACT

Background: Malaria is known as tazo or tazomoka in local terminology in Madagascar. Within the context of traditional practice, malaria (and/or malaria symptoms) is commonly treated by decoctions or infusions from bitter plants. One possible approach to the identification of new antimalarial drug candidates is to search for compounds that cure or prevent malaria in plants empirically used to treat malaria. Thus, it is worth documenting the ethnobotanical data, and testing the antiplasmodial activity of the extractive from plants.

Methods: We interviewed traditional healers, known locally as ombiasy, at Andasibe in the eastern, rainy part of Madagascar. We recorded details of the preparation and use of plants for medicinal purposes. We extracted five alkaloids from Z. tsihanimposa stem bark, and tested them in vitro against Plasmodium falciparum FCM29.

Results: We found that traditional healers treat malaria with herbal remedies consisting of one to eight different plants. We identified and listed the medicinal plants commonly used to treat malaria. The plants used included a large number of species from different families. Zanthoxylum sp (Rutaceae) was frequently cited, and plants from this genus are also used to treat malaria in other parts of Madagascar. From the plant list, Zanthoxylum tsihanimposa, bitter plant endemic to Madagascar, was selected and examined. Five alkaloids were isolates from the stem bark of this plant, and tested in vitro against malaria parasite. The geometric mean IC50 values ranged from 98.4 to 332.1 micromolar. The quinoline alkaloid gamma-fagarine exhibited the strongest antiplasmodial activity.

Conclusions: The current use of plants for medicinal purposes reflects the attachment of the Malagasy people to their culture, and also a lack of access to modern medicine. The possible extrapolation of these in vitro findings, obtained with plant extracts, to the treatment of malaria and/or the signs evoking malaria is still unclear. If plants are to be used as sources of novel antimalarial compounds, we need to increase our knowledge of their empirical use to improve plant selection. In the hope of preserving useful resources, we should now gather and record ethnobotanical data in Madagascar, and should try to bridge the gaps between empirics and realism.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus