Ethnobotanic survey of medicinal plants used for malaria therapy in western Cameroon
Tene Tcheghebe Olivier, Ngouafong Tatong Francis, Seukep Armel Jackson, Kamga Justin and Nenwa Justin
Malaria is one of the most prevalent infections worldwide. In Cameroon it is one of the diseases which cause serious concerns to the support health authorities. The increase level of malaria parasite drug resistance, the high cost of those drugs and their several side effects, have led to a gradual loss of faith in the modern drugs and confidence in the use of herbs in the treatment of malaria. Hence the use of plants, herbs and other natural substances to cure malaria and many other ailments has been on increase in Cameroon, and mostly in the rural areas. For many centuries, locally prepared decoctions have been in use for the treatment of malaria. This ethnobotanical study has revealed that 46 plants belonging to 32 families are currently used in the Menoua division, Western Cameroon, to treat malaria. The Asteraceae, Liliaceae and Malvaceae families (3 plants each) were dominant. The top 17 of the plants usually used is constituted of: Carica papaya, Bidens pilosa, Cymbopogon citratus, Citrus limonum, Cassia alata, Enantia chlorantha, Eucalyptus globulus, Mangifera indica, Allium sativum, Vernonia amygdalina, Psidium guava, Panax ginseng, Eremomastax speciosa, Combretum micranthum, Dacryodes edulis, Aloe vera and Annona muricata. However, 8 plants including : Allium sativum, Bidens pilosa, Carica papaya, Combretum micranthum, Dacryodes edulis, Enantia chlorantha, Panax ginseng and Vernonia amygdalina have been mentioned to been used as single recipe, while 12 plants including Aloe vera, Annona muricata, Cassia alata, Citrus limonum, Cymbopogon citratus, Eremomastax speciosa, Eucalyptus globulus, Mangifera indica, Moringa oleifera, Musa sapientum, Psidium guava and Zinziber officinales are used as adjuncts in the preparation to cure malaria. Leaves 65%, constituted the main part used. Most of these plants can be a potential source for the development of novel and more potent antimalarial drugs. However, further studies should be undertaken to validate their efficacy and safety, and to standardize practice.
Tene Tcheghebe Olivier, Ngouafong Tatong Francis, Seukep Armel Jackson, Kamga Justin, Nenwa Justin. Ethnobotanic survey of medicinal plants used for malaria therapy in western Cameroon. J Med Plants Stud 2016;4(3):248-258.