In vitro anti-plasmodial activity of crude extracts of Gardenia ternifolia, Pittosporum viridiflorum and Phytolaca dodecandra used for treatment of malaria in Kericho County, Kenya.

Pacifica Chepchumba Bwogo



Worldwide malaria caused by P. falciparum is still the most leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Poor access to treatment in endemic region and parasite resistance to artemisinin drugs with its derivatives has completely affected the efficient treatment of this disease. Herbs offer greatest foundation for development and discovery of new antimalarial agents and a way to ensure that everyone get access to these drugs. The aim of this study was to determine in vitro anti-plasmodial activity of crude extracts of three plants namely Gardenia ternifolia roots bark (family Rubiaceae), Pittosporum viridiflorum stem bark (family Papilionaceae) and Phytolaca dodecandra leaves (family Phytolaceae ) used for treatment of malaria by traditional herbal medicine men in Kericho County, Kenya.


 The study aimed to investigate in vitro anti-plasmodial activity of hexane, dichloromethane (DCM), Methanol (MeOH) and 5% H2O/MeOH extracts of the three plants against mefloquine/ chloroquine resistance (W2) and mefloquine/chloroquine sensitive (3D7) strains of P. falciparum. Anti-plasmodial activity of the exudates was measured using a standard in vitro (Micro-Test (MARK III) kit) assay.


Chemosupression of all the tested plants extracts was high and moderate having their IC50< 10µg/ml and expressing a sigmoid curve except the DCM extract of plant P. viridiflorum. 3D7 clone was extremely susceptible having the mean IC50 < 5µg/ mL to all the plant extracts except again DCM extract of plant P. viridiflorum. Results trend of extracts were similar to that of Mefloquine and chloroquine suggesting that there was a similar manner of action.


Demonstrated activity in vitro by the three plant species shows the potential of African traditional medicine in treating/preventing malaria, hence it will be imperative to isolate various metabolites of the three tested plants for qualitative and quantitative analysis and further, in-vivo analysis using murine and primate models should be performed with an aim of them being drug candidates for malaria.


Anti-plasmodial, in vitro activity, Gardenia ternifolia, Pittosporum viridiflorum, Phytolaca dodecandra.

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