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Title: Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and wound-healing properties of selected South Africa medicinal plants
Authors: Mzindle, Nonkululeko Betty 
Issue Date: 2017
South Africa has a wide range of medicinal plants that are used traditionally by black Zulu South Africans for the treatment of a range of illnesses, including inflammatory ailments; disease conditions caused by oxidative stress and wound healing. It has been indicated that bioactive compounds isolated from plants contribute to their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and wound healing properties; hence, herbal remedies have been widely used traditionally in many countries in the management and treatment of wounds.

Inflammation is the main condition that relates to a variety of diseases affecting most of the world’s population. It is the body’s immune response to infection and injury and is induced by the release of pro-inflammatory mediator’s —prostaglandins and leukotrienes—following wound occurrence. Wounds result in disruption of living tissue caused by oxidative stress. Anti-inflammatory agents, antioxidants, and antimicrobials play an important role in the wound healing process and they prevent aggravated wound conditions.Controlling inflammation during wound repair is important to minimize any additional complications that may result; hence, chemical agents such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), synthetic antioxidantsand steroids are frequently used. These drugs block the enzymes that are responsible for prostaglandin synthesis in inflammation, react with free radicals thereby interfering with oxidation process as a result affect one or more phases of wound healing. The use of these drugs, however, has been limited as they can cause detrimental side effects when used over long periods of time.There is, consequently, a need to find alternative natural therapeutic drugs. Studies on medicinal plants confirmed that herbal drugs exhibit fewer side effects in comparison with chemical agents and are more cost-effective.Thus the aim of this study was to investigate South African medicinal plants, for anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and wound healing properties.

Dissolved extracts of thirty-eight medicinal plants were evaluated for theiranti-inflammatory activity using the 5-lipoxygenase assay as well as free radical scavenging activity using the 1; 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay.Their safety was evaluated using brine shrimp lethality assay. Proliferation and viability of fibroblast cells was determined by the3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazolyl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide(MTT) assay furthermore a scratch wound assay was used to study the properties of wound healing in vitro and to confirm the anti-inflammatory activities of the dissolved extracts. Migration rate was evaluated quantitatively by an image analyzer. Methanol was chosen for extraction because it completely dissolves extracts. Anova was used for statistical analysis.

Almost all aqueous extracts were found to be effective in inhibiting lipoxygenase enzyme when compared to nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA). Aqueous extracts exhibited remarkably high percentage inhibition of lipoxygenase with most above 100% when compared to methanolic extracts. Amaranthus dubius and Portulaca oleracea were found to have good biological activities in the inhibition of 5-lipoxygenase enzymes when compared to the other plants. However, Galinsoga parviflora and Syzygium cordatumwere least effective in inhibiting enzyme activity with percentages as low as -2% and 34% respectively. Percentage inhibitions for methanolic extracts were lower than that of aqueous extracts. Amaranthus spinosus had the highest percentage inhibition among all the methanolic extracts andGalinsoga parviflorahad the lowest. The methanolic plant extracts were found to be more effective in scavenging DPPH free radicals than the corresponding aqueous extracts. All the methanolic extracts exhibited free radical scavenging ability in the range of 60%–104%. Asystasia gangetica, Ficus sur, Heteropyxis natalensis, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Pelargonium sp. showed notably higher scavenging abilities, ranging from 101%–104% compared to Rutin. Methanolic extracts of Heteropyxis natalensis and Hibiscus sabdariffa exhibited scavenging ability even at the lowest concentration of 10μg/ml. Furthermore, aqueous extracts displayed remarkably lower activities than methanolic extracts with thirty-one extracts having a scavenging capacity ranging from 22%—59%.

None of the extracts were found to be detrimental to brine shrimp. Almost all the extracts were shown to stimulate the growth of fibroblast cells except the methanolic extract of Solanum nodiflorum, which was shown to be killing the cells at high concentrations with a percentage viability of 46%.As the concentration decreased, however, the viability of cells with this extract increased to 143%. An increase in the number of fibroblast cells was observed in the scratched area of the treated cells and a significant migration rate was also noted with some of the extracts. Aqueous extracts of Sonchus oleraceus (86%), Justicia flava (85%) and Dichrostachys cinerea (85%) and methanolic extracts of Senna occidentalis and Hibiscus sabdariffa were found to have the highest migration rate compared to untreated cells that served as a control. No cell migration was observed with methanolic extract of Solanum nodiflorum.Instead, the extract was found to be toxic to the cells.

Some of the plants evaluated in this study have been studied for either anti-inflammatory, antioxidantand wound healing properties in vivo, however, no work has been conducted to demonstrate a correlation between anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and wound healing properties of plant species in vitro. The current study was, therefore, conducted to review medicinal herbs considered as anti-inflammatory, antioxidants and wound healing agents as well as collecting evidence for their effectiveness and pharmacological mechanisms in modern science. In the plant species investigated Amaranthus dubius, Asystasia gangetica, Bidens pilosa, Buddleja saligna, Carpobrotus dimidiatus, Chenopodium album, Dichrostachys cinerea, Emex australis, Ficus sur, Guilleminea densa, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Physalis viscose, Syzygium cordatum, Taraxacum officinale and Tulbaghia violacea demonstrated good anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties.In conclusion the results from this study demonstrated promising anti-inflammatory and antioxidantactivities as well as wound healing properties,furthermoreit was aslo shown that the plant extracts were not toxic to the cells hencethis suggested that the plants investigated, can be used as substitutes or to formulate wound healing agents that are safe to use in primary healthcare.
Submitted in fulfillment for the Degree of Master of Applied Sciences in Biotechnology, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2017.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Applied Sciences)

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