Herbs and Helpers ®

Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs

   Jan 24

Herbal combo tackles drug-resistant malaria, cancer, diabetes, others

Herbal preparations made predominantly with lemon leaf, sesame seed, garlic bulb, bitter leaf, Aloe vera leaf, sugar cane leaf, zobo leaf, guinea corn seed and soya bean seed have been validated as effective treatments for drug-resistant malaria, prevention of cancer, management of diabetes and other non communicable diseases. CHUKWUMA MUANYA writes.

DIFFERENT combinations of local herbs have shown promise in studies endorsed by the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Abuja, and National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as the next best drugs for drug-resistant malaria, cancer, diabetes, and other non-communicable diseases.

Some of the herbal combinations are also among the local drugs selected for thorough scientific verification by the Committee on Verification of Herbal Claims set up last year by the Director General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii.

The different herbal combination with bitter leaf as the most active and predominant ingredient include: SAABMAL for drug-resistant malaria which contains-lemon leaf, sesame seed, garlic bulb, bitter leaf, Aloe vera, Love-lies bleeding leaf and sugar cane leaf; SAABFAT7 a novel and attractive alternative in the treatment of cancer contains- zobo leaf, white pepper seed, sesame seed, bitter leaf, Aloe vera, garlic bulb and Love-lies bleeding leaf; SAABFAT6 contains guinea corn seed, soya bean seed, sugar cane, sesame seed, bitter leaf, Aloe vera, garlic bulb and Love-lies bleeding leaf; SAABFAT5 contains lemon leaf, sugar cane, sesame seed, bitter leaf, Aloe vera, garlic bulb and Love-lies bleeding leaf; and DAABS 2 for diabetes contains maize seed, bitter leaf and white yam tuber.

Nigerian researchers from Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Technology and Raw Materials Development at NIPRD, and Halamin Herbal centre, Abuja in a study titled “Standardization of SAABMAL: An ethnomedical polyberbal formulation for treatment of malaria infection in the tropics” found that SAABMAL caused 97 per cent reduction in drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent for malaria.

The researchers were led by Prof. Martins Emeje of NIPRD and Dr. Ben Amodu of Ben Amodu Farms and Halamin centre.

Amodu who is also a pharmacist told The Guardian that the paper has been accepted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (NECA) and Health Innovation for Development (ANDi) for publication. “The World Health Organisation (WHO) is also excited about the findings,” he said.

The pharmacist said: “The poly herbal preparation has been accepted by the Committee on Verification of Herbal Cure Claims set up last year by the Director General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, for further probe and clinical trials.”

Meanwhile, other researchers have assessed extracts from the leaves and root bark of Vernonia amygdalina for antimalarial activity against drug-sensitive Plasmodium spp in mice. According to the study published in the British Journal of Biomedical Science, a standard inoculum of infected erythrocytes was used, and leaf and root-bark extracts of 500 mg/kg, 250 mg/kg or 125 mg/kg are used in a four-day suppression test and a Rane test of established infection.

Bitter leaf extract produced 67 per cent suppression of parasitaemia in the four-day test, while root-bark extract produced 53.5 per cent suppression. These results are significant when compared to a placebo.

According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science Invention by Nigerian researchers led by Dr. Ben Amodu of Ben Amodu farms, “the presence of blocking bioactive activities of SAABFAT 7 with bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) as it active ingredient opens new perspectives in the treatment of this disease by means of the use of blocking or specific modulators of these radicals. The affectation in the expression of these radicals and other important markers in tumoral cells of epithelial origin confirms the anti-tumoral effect and they reaffirm to this cocktail of natural anti-tumoral products as a novel and attractive alternative in the treatment of cancer.”

The study titled “Phytochemical and Biological Study on Saabfat 7 with a Focus on Vernonia Amygdalina” was conducted by Amodu B. and Musa D. E. of Halamin Herbal centre, 10 George Innih Crescent, Apo District, Abuja and Itodo S.E. of the Department of Histopathology and Cytology, Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) Jos.

They wrote: “Cancer is considered at the moment one of the main causes of death worldwide. The current tendency in the treatment of cancer pursues to obtain a more successful treatment that do not increases alone its effectiveness but rather it diminishes its adverse effects .One of such that provides a better alternative is naturaceuticals, tagged as natural products. They are able to scavenge free radicals, induce detoxification, inhibit stress response proteins and interfere with DNA binding activities of some transcription factors. In these new therapeutic slopes the treatments are included that modify the biological answer, starting from emergent pharmacological agents able to modulate the transduction of signs inducing a selective death of the tumoral cells.”

Bitter leaf, botanically called Vernonia amygdalina, is a medicinal plant, which grows in the humid tropical secondary forests of Africa. Bitter leaf is among several natural products used by traditional healers in Western Nigeria to treat a number of bacterial infections. The leaves are used as a leafy vegetable for preparing the popular bitter-leaf soup and the juice or extract serves as a tonic drink.

Phytochemical analysis shows that bitter leaf contains 18 per cent protein, 8.5 per cent fiber in a dry matter, and a good composition of macro elements. Moreover, Vernonia amygdalina has been used in traditional medicine as an antihelminth, an anti-malarial, and a laxative herb. It was observed that an apparently sick wild chimpanzee chewed this plant to extract bitter juice and after a while it seemed to return to its normal activity.

The researchers further stated: “These observations stimulated research on the chemical principals of Vernonia amygdalina. Several stigmastane-type saponins such as vernoniosides A1, A2, A33, B2, B3, A44, and C5 have been identified in the leaves. It was shown that the A series of these saponins were bitter, mixtures of saponins as well as vernonioside A1 were shown to affect body and liver weights, urine and fecal output, and plasma and liver cholesterol concentrations in mice fed diets amended with these compounds. “The antiplasmodial activity of some sesquiterpene and steroidal constituents of Vernonia amygdalina was tested, and some were proved to be active against Plasmodium falciparum in vitro. The current search for potential anti oxidative principles to replace suspected tumour-causing synthetic analogues such as BHT necessitated this investigation.

“Antioxidative principles have been implicated as parts of anticancer formulations and patents. Although luteoline has been reported to be a strong antioxidant, no report has so far been given on the antioxidative potentials of its tannin, alkaloid, anthroquinone, anthracyanosidic and glycosidic derivatives.

“The present paper characterizes flavonoids, tannin, alkaloid, anthroquinone, anthracyanosidic and glycosidic derivatives of SAABFAT 7 with Vernonia amygdalina leaves as one of its active ingredients. This study is therefore designed to determine the clinical activities of (SAABFAT 7) with Vernonia amygdalina as one of its active ingredients, on animals infused with carcinogen.”

The researchers in another study titled “Synergy of Polyphenols as Strategy for Enhancing Bioavailability and Therapeutic Efficacy” concluded: “ SAABFAT 5 with Vernonia amygdalina as it active ingredient had been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various ailments,it has been used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, haematoma, malaria, inflammation, cancer etc. The methanolic extract of the leaves was investigated on the histology of the liver and kidney. The kidney section demonstrated by Perls Prussian blue reaction shows no iron deposition. The liver sections show more of iron deposition with the carcinogen. There were no significant histological deviation observed in the kidney and liver section of experimental animals compared with control demonstrated by Haematoxylin and Eosin staining technique.”

Meanwhile, a bitter leaf-based herbal anti-diabetic medication, just like DAABS 2, has passed human clinical trials and received a United States Patent 6531461 for the treatment of diabetes. Also, NIPRD, Abuja, is presently conducting a multi-centre human clinical trials of a similar drug, ADI.

Source: The Nigerian Guardian

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.