In vitro pharmacological evaluation and phenolic content of ten South African medicinal plants used as anthelmintics

A. O. Aremu, A. R. Ndhlala, O. A. Fawole, M. E. Light, J. F. Finnie, J. Van Staden

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52 Citations (Scopus)


Helminth infection is regarded as one of the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Although the disease is common in rural areas, information on the pharmacology of South African medicinal plants used against this disease is limited. We investigated the efficacy of ten South African medicinal plants against Caenorhabditis elegans. Because of the increased susceptibility of a host to microbial infections and other inflammatory responses associated with helminth infections, the antimicrobial and cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitory activities of the plants were also investigated. Phenolics including flavonoids, condensed tannins and gallotannins have been linked to many pharmacological activities. Thus, the phenolic content of the plant extracts were quantitatively evaluated. In the three bioassays, organic solvent extracts from Cyathea dregei (roots and leaves), Felicia erigeroides (leaves and stems), Hypoxis colchicifolia (leaves) and Senna petersiana (leaves) exhibited noteworthy pharmacological activities while Acokanthera oppositifolia (leaves) had good COX inhibitory activity. The concentration of phenolics ranged from 56.7 to 1.7 mg GAE/g dry matter in Ocimum basilicum and Cotyledon orbiculata var. dactylopsis, respectively. Flavonoids, condensed tannin and gallotannin content also varied greatly among the plant extracts investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-566
Number of pages9
JournalSouth African Journal of Botany
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthelmintic
  • Antimicrobial
  • Cyclooxygenase inhibition
  • Phenolic content
  • South African medicinal plants
  • Tannin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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