Ethnobotanical Survey of Plants Used to Treat Malaria in the Awash –Fentale District of the Afar Region of Ethiopia and in Vivo Screening of Some Selected Plants for Their Antimalarial Activities.

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Addis Ababa University


Ethnobotanical study of antimalarial medicinal plants in Awash Fentale district was carried out between November and December 2007. Semi-structured interview was used to gather medicinal plant knowledge of the Afar people residing in Awash Fentale District. Sampled informants were interviewed about their knowledge of use of medicinal plants, plant parts used, practices and management systems against malaria. The local names of medicinal plants and their habits were also recorded. During the survey, a total of 19 antimalarial medicinal plant species were reported. These plants were collected from four kebeles in the study area. With regard to preparations, remedies are mainly done by crushing plant parts to make infusion or decoction with cold or hot water. Oral application is widely used in almost all practitioners. The leaf is the most common part of the plants used (44 %) followed by stem (22 %). Shrubs and trees were plants with higher frequencies to treat malaria accounting for 63 % and 21 % of the plants, respectively. Crude water and ethanol extracts obtained from the leaves of Aloe sp. and Cadaba rotundifolia were tested in vivo for antimalarial activity on a total of 160 Swiss albino mice. Each mouse in the study was infected intraperitonially with blood samples taken from mice previously infected with Plasmodium berghei (chloroquine sensitive) after dilution so that 0.2ml contained 106 -107 infected erythrocytes. The extracts were given orally to the infected mice starting from three hours following infection. Antimalarial activity was evaluated by taking blood smears on the fifth day of infection. This study showed that ethanol extracts obtained from the leaves of C. rotundifolia and Aloe sp. suppressed parasitemia significantly (53.73% and 49.07%, respectively) at 900mg/kg. However, aqueous crude extracts obtained from the leaves of both C. rotundifolia and Aloe sp. (40.8% and 31.7%, respectively) did not show significant suppressive effect on parasitemia as compared to their ethanol extracts. The non-toxic properties of these plants up to a dose of 1500mg/kg was also revealed.



Aloe Sp, Antimalarial Activity, Cadaba Rotundifolia, Ethnobotany, In Vivo, Medicinal Plants, Plasmodium Berghei