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Traditional oil palm (Elaeis guineensis jacq.) and its medicinal uses: A review

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The oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) has been reported to originate along the gulf of the guinea in West Africa. The various parts of the tree have been used locally and traditionally for various medicinal purposes. Some of these uses have been proved by scientific experiments. Palm oil is extracted from the mesocarp of the fruit and is used traditionally for the treatment of headaches, pains, rheumatism, cardiovascular diseases, arterial thrombosis and an atherosclerosis due to its rich phytonutrients. The leaves are also used for the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, kidney diseases and wound healing. The sap also has been found to be rich in phytonutrients that can be used to treat various diseases. This review therefore seeks to explore many of the uses of the oil palm using the various parts of the oil palm.
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Review
Traditional oil palm (Elaeis guineensis jacq.) and its medicinal uses: A review
Bamidele Victor Owoyele1,*, Gbenga Opeyemi Owolabi2
1
Department of Physiology,University of Ilorin, P.M.B. 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria;
2
Department of Physiology, Ladoke Akintola University
of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria
ABSTRACT
The oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) has been reported to originate along the gulf of the guinea in West
Africa. The various parts of the tree have been used locally and traditionally for various medicinal
purposes. Some of these uses have been proved by scientific experiments. Palm oil is extracted from the
mesocarp of the fruit and is used traditionally for the treatment of headaches, pains, rheumatism,
cardiovascular diseases, arterial thrombosis and an atherosclerosis due to its rich phytonutrients. The
leaves are also used for the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, kidney diseases and wound
healing. The sap also has been found to be rich in phytonutrients that can be used to treat various diseases.
This review therefore seeks to explore many of the uses of the oil palm using the various parts of the oil
palm.
Keywords anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, cardiovascular diseases, Elaeis guineensis, medicinal uses, oil
palm, rheumatism
INTRODUCTION
It is generally agreed that the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.)
originated from the equatorial tropical rain forest region of
Africa, precisely along the gulf of guinea (Naher et al., 2013).
It exists in the wild type and cultivated state. It was first
introduced to Brazil and other tropical countries in the 15
th
century by the Portuguese (Corley, 1976). The oil palm fruit is
a drupe. The American oil palm, Elaeis oleifera is native to
tropical Central America and South America.
This review intends to provide information on the
documented medicinal uses of oil palm including laboratory
studies on the plant. Earlier review by Obahiagbon (2012) was
limited to an aspect of the plant. This present review covers
both the traditional as well as the scientific uses of the oil. The
review however does not extend to the core botanical aspect of
the plant. The literatures used for this review were obtained
from Medline and Google Scholar search carried out from
September, 2013 to April, 2014.
The traditional theory about the uses of oil palm in many
parts of Nigeria is that products from oil palm are antidotes that
can be used in the treatment of many ailments especially
gastrointestinal disorders and poisons.
Oil palm
The African oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacquin) produces two
different kinds of oil namely, palm oil and palm kernel oil
(Ekwenye and Ijeomah, 2005). The pericarp consists of three
layers: the exocarp (skin), mesocarp (outer pulp containing
palm oil), and the endocarp (a hard shell enclosing the kernel or
endosperm, which contains oil known as kernel oil) (Naher et
al., 2013). Palm oil is extracted from fleshy mesocarp of the
fruit either by milling mechanically or by the traditional
method (Hartley, 1977; Edem and Akpanabiatu, 2006), which
contains 45 - 55% oil, but varies from light yellow to orange-
red in color, and melts at 25C (Duke, 1983). The oil colour is
determined by the carotenoids (Cottrell, 1991). The major
carotenoids found in palm oil are the beta-carotene
(Obahiagbon, 2012). Palm kernel oil is obtained from the
kernels enclosed in the endocarp (Ekwenye and Ijeomah, 2005).
Palm oil contains saturated palmitic acid, oleic and linoleic acid,
giving it a higher unsaturated acid content than palm kernel or
coconut oils (Duke, 1983; Edem, 2002). Along with coconut oil,
palm oil is one of the few highly saturated vegetable fats. It is
semi-solid at room temperature and contains several saturated
and unsaturated fats in the forms of glyceryl laurate (0.1%,
saturated), myristate (1%, saturated), palmitate (44%, satur
ated), stearate (5%, saturated), oleate (39%, monounsaturated),
linoleate (10%, polyunsaturated), and alpha-linolenate (0.3%,
polyunsaturated) (Cottrell, 1991). Palm oil also has minor
constituents including phospholipids (Goh et al., 1983).
Currently, palm oil is the world largest edible oil (Naher et al.,
2013) and is the main source of domestic or edible oil in Africa
(Obahiagbon, 2012; Oluba et al., 2009). As much as palm oil
provides energy and fatty acid needs (Oguntibeju et al., 2009),
much of the palm oil that is consumed as food is to some
degree oxidized rather than in the fresh state, and this oxidation
appears to be responsible for the health risk associated with
consuming palm oil (Edem, 2002).
Ekwenye and Ijeomah (2005) reported that traditionally,
palm oil has been used in the South Eastern Nigeria for the
treatment of various diseases and skin infections. This was
confirmed by their experiment carried out at the Michael
Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State,
Nigeria using five microorganisms namely; Staphylococcus
aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas areuginosa, Candida
albicans, and Aspergillus niger known to cause some infections
treatable with palm oil and palm kernel oil. In this experiment,
*
Correspondence: Bamidele Victor Owoyele
E-mail: deleyele@yahoo.com or owoyele@unilorin.edu.ng
Received January 11, 2014; Accepted May 20, 2014; Published
August 31, 2014
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5667/tang.2014.0004
©2014 by Association of Humanitas Medicine
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license.
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/)
Medicinal uses of oil palm
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0.04 ml of 100% concentration palm oil and palm kernel oil
extracts was impregnated into the sterilized discs according to
the method of Ekpa and Ebana (1996). The anti-microbial test
was done using the disc diffusion method of Brauer et al. (1996)
was adapted using nutrient agar, sabouraud dextrose agar, and
the impregnated discs. Palm oil has also been reported to be
anodyne, anti-dotal, aphrodisiac and a diuretic (Irvin, 1985;
Sasidharan et al., 2012). It is folk remedy for headaches, pains,
rheumatism, cardiovascular diseases, arterial thrombosis and an
atherosclerosis (Ekwenye and Ijeomah, 2005; Honstra, 1986;
Irvin, 1985; Sasidharan et al., 2012). The palm oil is known to
be effective against many forms of intestinal disorders,
especially diarrhoea and dysentery in infants (Ekpa and Ebana,
1996.). The fruit mesocarp oil and palm kernel oil are
administered as poison anti-dote and used externally with
several other herbs as lotion for skin diseases. Palm kernel oil
is applied to convulsing children to regulate their body
temperature. Folk remedies of oil palm also include treatment
for cancer and liniment (Irvin, 1985; Sasidharan et al., 2012).
Anti-oxidant activity
Palm oil provides a rich source of beta-carotene and vitamin E,
namely tocopherols and tocotrienols which are recognized
nutritional anti-oxidants that act as scavengers of the oxygen
atom or free radicals (Chong and Ng, 1991; Ekwenye and
Ijeomah, 2005; Goh et al., 1985). The oxygen atom or free
radicals can arise during the body’s normal oxidative
metabolism or from the action of toxic pollutants that
contaminate our food and have been implicated in ageing, heart
disease and cancer (Ekwenye and Ijeomah, 2005). E.
guineensis is also used as a wound healing agent among the
natives of Africans and as therapeutic agent in other parts of the
World (Sasidharan et al., 2010; Sasidharan and Vijayarathna,
2012). The palm oil is also used for biofuels and some
manufactured products (Naher et al., 2013). Carotenoids are
potent anti-oxidants. Packer et al. (1992) showed that alpha-
carotene is a more potent anti-oxidant than beta-carotene. Red
palm oil is rich in natural phytonutrients that are important for
health. These phytonutrients (i.e. tocotrienols and carotenes)
are also powerful anti-oxidants that help maintain the stability
of the oil during cooking process and may extend the shelf life
of food prepared with red palm oil
Research has shown that consumption of red palm oil
significantly enhanced vitamin A levels in humans, and it is
beneficial in preventing vitamin A deficiency (Manorama and
Rukmini, 1991; Roo, 2000; Solomons, 1998) and it is used for
combating vitamin A deficiency in developing countries
(Rukmini, 1994). Additionally, some workers have advised that
nursing mothers should take red palm oil as supplement with
their food in order to prevent vitamin A deficiency (Lietz et al.,
2000). Vitamin A deficiency may lead to blindness, skin disease
and weakened immune function. The vitamin A content of the
red palm oil plays important roles in growth, development and
in visual process (Edem, 2009). The human body is able to
convert provitamin-A carotenoids (alpha- and beta-carotene)
when there is a deficiency, hence it is safer to supplement with
carotenes than consuming vitamin A (retinoids) directly.
Excessive consumption of retinoids may lead to toxicity with
symptoms ranging from mild, such as headache, nausea and dry,
itchy skin to severe, such as liver damage (Solomons, 1998).
Tocotrienols are members of the vitamin E family. In the
body, vitamin E acts as an anti-oxidant that protects lipid from
peroxidation and help quench free radicals. However, there is a
difference in anti-oxidant potency between tocotrienol and its
sibling tocopherol. Tocotrienol has been shown to be 40 to 60
times more potent than tocopherol as an anti-oxidant. Palm oil
is the only vegetable oil available on the world market that
naturally contains tocotrienols (Cottrell, 1991; Ebong et al.,
1999; Elson, 1992; Van Rooyen et al., 2008) and is the richest
natural source of beta - carotene (500 - 700 mg/l) which is
responsible for the characteristic colour of the oil. Similar to
the tocopherols, tocotrienols consist of 4 members: alpha, beta,
gamma, and delta isomers (Serbinova, 1991). Alpha toco
pherols and gamma tocotrienols have anti-oxidative effects on
lipid peroxidation, in the presence of a xenobiotic metabolizing
enzyme that induces lipid peroxidation (Zuzana et al., 2005).
The vitamin E, particularly the tocotrienol present in palm oil
can suppress the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver (Mcintosh
et al., 1991; Qureshi et al., 1991; Qureshi et al., 1980). Some
scientists in South Africa have been able to establish that
oxidative stress plays a role in inflammatory and chronic
disease such as HIV/AIDS and TB and contribute significantly
to depletion of immune factors, micronutrients and progression
of disease and that red palm oil could potentially retard the
process because of rich anti-oxidants (Oguntibeju et al., 2009).
Anti-diabetic action
Studies have indicated that the potential mechanism of action
for the improvement in glucose metabolism with E. guineensis
involves inhibition of the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-
4; Abdullah, 2009) the effect of which is to prevent degradation
of gastric inhibitory polypeptide, which itself stimulates insulin
secretion, suppresses glucagon secretion and slows gastric
emptying. E. guineensis is rich in catechins and polyphenols
(Jaffri, 2011). Prior studies in streptozotocin-induced hyper
glycemic rats showed that E. guineensis improved proteinuria
and reduced oxidative stress levels (Rosalina Tan, 2011;
Yamabe, 2006). This suggests a potential benefit for the pre-
diabetic and diabetic states. Administration of tocopherol,
Vitamin E or tocotrienol-rich fractions of palm oil, have been
shown to recover glycemic status, inhibit oxidative damage;
prevent DNA damage in animal studies and prevent
glycosylation of end-products in serum and decrease in diabetic
rats (Budin et al., 2006; Nazaimoon and Khalid, 2002;
Obahiagbon, 2012)
Cardiovascular activities
Peer review journals have documented palm tocotrienol
complex’s promising hypocholesterolemic properties (Qureshi
et al., 1991, 1995). Also, the daily consumption of tocotrienols-
enriched fraction of palm oil (200 mg palmvitee capsule) can
result in a significant reduction of serum cholesterol, Low
Density Lipoprotein cholesterol, APOB, thromboxane, platelet
factor 4 and glucose of hyper cholesterolemic subjects within
four weeks of administration (Qureshi et al., 1991; Packer,
1992; Song and DeBose-Boyd, 2006). A number of human
feeding studies reported that palm oil diets showed a reduction
of blood cholesterol values ranging from 7 to 38% (Mattson
and Grundy, 1985; Bonanome and Grundy, 1988). A
comparative study in young Australian adults showed that the
total blood cholesterol, triglycerides and High Density
Lipoprotein (HDL) - cholesterol levels of those fed on palm oil
(palm olein) and olive oil were lower than those fed on the
usual Australian diet (Choudhury et al., 1995). A number of
studies have also shown that palm oil increased HDL
cholesterol and Apo A-1 levels (Sundram et al., 1992; Truswell
et al., 1992). Other studies have also shown the beneficial
effects of palm oil on the cholesterol level of the body
(Marzuki et al., 1991; Ng et al., 1992, 1991; Zhang et al., 1997).
The position of the saturated and unsaturated fatty acid chains
in a triglyceride backbone of palm oil molecule determines
whether the fat will elevate cholesterol level in the blood
Medicinal uses of oil palm
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(Kritchevsky, 1988, 1996). High blood pressure or
hypertension is one of the major risk factors of cardiovascular
diseases and strokes. In a human clinical trial, patients
supplemented with palm tocotrienol complex for two months
resulted in significant reduction in aortic systolic blood
pressure (Rasool et al., 2006). In an earlier review by
Obahiagbon (2012), he pointed out that Tocotrienol-rich
Fraction (TRF) of palm oil exhibited cardio-protective ability
in animal trials (Das et al., 2008). The cardio-protective effects
produced by the isomers of tocotrienol were of the order of: γ >
α >δ. The inhibition of normal cellular gene, C-Src activation
and proteosome stabilization were found to be reasons behind
the cardio-protective properties of TRF (Das et al., 2008).
Feeding experiments using various animal models have
highlighted that red palm oil is beneficial to health by reducing
oxidative stress (Ebong et al., 1999). Many studies have
demonstrated the protective effects of red palm oil in an
ischemia/reperfusion model of oxidative stress (Bester et al.,
2006; Engelbrecht et al., 2006; Esterhuyse et al., 2005)
Palm oil has been shown to possess anti-clotting effect and
it prevents the formation of thrombus in the blood vessels
(Oguntibeju et al, 2010). A human study (Kooyenga et al., 1997)
showed that tocotrienol (from palm oil) supplementation can
reduce stenosis of patients with carotid atherosclerosis. Vitamin
E in palm oil has been linked with inhibition of platelets from
sticking to each other. Other reports showed that palm oil diets
increases the production of prostacyclin or thromboxane (Ng et
al., 1992; Sundram et al., 1990). Thus scientific evidence
indicates that the palm oil diet is anti-thrombotic. Studies in
animals confirmed that palm oil do not promote the formation
of plaques in the arteries. A study was conducted on rabbits to
test the effect of palm oil on atherosclerosis. After feeding the
rabbits for one and a half years, palm oil and sunflower oil diets
caused the lowest degree of atherosclerosis in comparison with
fish oil, linseed oil and olive oil. Similarly, the effects of palm
oil was also compared with other types of plants derived oils
and at the end of the 14-month feeding period, coconut oil fed
rabbits had the most atherosclerosis lesions, while in palm oil-
fed rabbits; the number of lesions was no different from that
with the other oils (Oguntibeju et al., 2010).
Anti-bacterial
The anti-bacterial activity of this plant extract against different
micro-organisms and anti-oxidant activity have already been
reported (Manjunatha, 2005; Sasidharan et al., 2009). Moreover,
Chong together with Sasidharan and some others (Chong et al.,
2008) described the potential of E. guineensis leaf methanol
extract as an infected wound healing agents. They observed that
the bacterial count in the E. guineensis extract treated rats was
significantly reduced to 102 CFU/g tissues on day 16. In a
further study, Sasidharan tested wound healing activity without
infection and the expression of matrix metalloproteinases
(Sasidharan et al., 2012).
Toxicity
Several studies have been conducted to confirm the non-
toxicity of different parts of E.guineensis at normal doses
(Rajoo et al., 2010; Syahmi et al., 2010). Syahmi et al. (2010)
evaluated the acute oral toxicity of methanol extract of the
leaves using a dose of 5g and found no toxicity. They also use
the brine shrimp bioassay and also reported no toxicity. Also,
Anyanji et al. (2013) showed that the ethanol extract of the
palm leaves do not cause any toxicity at 2 g/kg but it appears
toxic at 5 g/kg based on a single administration after seven days.
However, the indices of toxicity were partially reversed after 14
days of administration.
Conservation and preservation
Several literature have reported the use of palm oil in
preservation purposes from various parasites including cowpea
weevil, Callosobruchus maculatus (Law-Ogbomo and
Egharevba, 2006), Sitophilus zeamais and Callosobruchus
maculates (Abulude et al., 2007).
Anti-cancer action
Studies have shown that tocotrienols fractions of palm oil were
able to induce an inhibitory action on the human breast cancer
cells, whereas the alpha-tocopherols were not able (Nesaretnam
et al., 2004, 2008; McIntyre et al., 2000). Palm oil has been
reported to be with wide range of protective properties against
disease, aging as well as being modulators for cellular
processes / functions where photo oxidative processes
predominate by acting as scavengers of oxygen and peroxyl
radicals (Van Rooyen et al., 2008). It has been shown that fresh
palm oil has no adverse effect on body weight and morphology
of body tissues, lowers the level of serum lipids and inhibits
tumour growth (Kritchevsky, 2000), enhances intestinal uptake
of protein and the metabolism of sulphur-amino acids and
promotes reproductive capacity (Ebong et al., 1999). Several
researches have been conducted on cancer with the view to
finding a lasting solution to the disease. Sundram and his
colleagues (1989) were able to conduct an experiment to show
that RPO significantly reduce tumor incidence in some
experimental rats compared with the control groups. RPO,
when compared with saturated fats and oils, may help fight
cancer, especially breast cancer (Nesaretnam, et al., 1992). This
may be due to tocotrienols (Nesaretnam, 1998: Elson, 1992) or
other phytonutrients (Guthrie et al., 1997) present in palm oil.
Indeed, Professors K. K. Carroll of the Centre for Human
Nutrition at the University of Western Ontario and David
Kritchevsky of the Wistar Institute recently concluded that
evidence from animal and in vitro studies indicate that
tocotrienols of palm oil are effective anti-cancer agents and
provide adequate justification for clinical trials in human
cancer patients (Nesaretnam, 1998). This oil has equally been
shown to reduce the incidence of azoxymethane-induced
aberrant crypt foci in rats and may therefore have a beneficial
effect in reducing the incidence of colon cancer (Boateng et al.,
2006).
Anti-inflammatory effects
The TRF of palm oil has been shown by Wu et al. (2008) to
possess anti-inflammatory activities in a study involving the
injection of lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory response.
The mediators of cellular inflammation such as nitric oxide
(NO), prostaglandin E2, and transcription of pro inflammatory
cytokines were significantly reduced. The following were
equally blocked; inducible NO, cyclooxygenase 2 expression
and NF-kappa B expression.
Leaves of palm oil
A review of the health benefits of the leaf extracts of oil palm
has been provided extensively by Mohammed (2014), however,
the present review is to provide additional information.
Anti-cancer activities
Methanolic oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) leaf extract is rich in
polyphenols (Runnie et al., 2003; Jaffri, 2011).The methanolic
leaf extract of E. guineensis has also been shown to possess
anti-cancer activities (Sasidharan and Vijayarathna, 2012).
Studies have observed the presence of a large number of
bioactive compounds in the methanolic extracts of this plant
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including tannins, alkaloids, steroids, saponins, terpenoids, and
flavonoids which exhibit various biological activities
(Sasidharan et al., 2010; Gulecha and Sivakuma, 2011; Kumar
et al., 2011). These compounds are present in a number of food
items and hold great potential as drug candidates due to their
safety, low toxicity and wide acceptance amongst the public.
Wound healing
Sasidharan et al. (2012) reported in their article that in
traditional medicine, the leaf of E. guineensis is squeezed and
the juice that is obtained is placed on wounds to promote
healing (Irvin, 1985). They tried to establish this in an
experimental research conducted in Malaysia which showed
that E. guineensis leaf extract had potent wound healing
capacity as evident from the better wound closure (p < 0.05),
improved tissue regeneration at the wound site, and supporting
histopathological parameters pertaining to wound healing
(Sasidharan et al., 2012). The wounds were treated topically
with 10% formulated crude extract (5 g of the extract in 50 g of
yellow soft paraffin), while the control rats were treated only
with yellow soft paraffin for 16 days. The decrease in wound
diameters during the healing process was measured with an
analytical perimeter. The wounded animals were kept for 25
days for further observations (Sasidharan et al., 2012).
Although the leaf of the oil palm is a waste product, the alcohol
extract of the leaf contains large amounts of phenolic
compounds (Sasidharan et al., 2009; Soundararajan and
Sreenivasan, 2012) that reportedly promote vascular relaxation
and anti-oxidant activity in vitro. A pooled methanolic extract
was dried under vacuum using a rotary evaporator and the
resultant waxy residue collected, freeze dried, flushed with
nitrogen and stored at –20°C. For vascular function studies, a
stock solution (100 mg/ml) was prepared using a 1:1 v/v
mixture of methanol: saline and serially diluted. Aliquots (25 –
50 µL) were added directly in a cumulative fashion to the bath
(aortic rings) or injected intraluminally (mesenteric vascular
bed (Abeywardena et al., 2002). In a recent study of
streptozotocin (STZ)-induced hyperglycemic rats, E. guineensis
leaf extract reduced glycemia and lipid oxidation in a dose-
dependent manner, possibly by inhibiting dipeptidyl peptidase-
4 (DPP-4) secretion (Tan et al., 2011).
Cardiovascualar activities
The polyphenol-rich leaf extract of E.guineensis showed
vasodilative properties on noradrenaline-preconstricted rat
aorta and mesenteric arterial bed, mainly via endothelium-
dependent mechanisms (Abeywardena et al., 2002). It also
effectively inhibited low-density lipoprotein oxidation better
than other edible plant extracts (Salleh et al., 2002). Also, in a
12-week study conducted by Jaffri et al. (2011) on rats, the leaf
extract showed good anti-hypertensive and anti-oxidant effects
under NO deficiency, it was not hypotensive to normal rats and
produced no chronic cardiovascular toxicity in any of the rats
throughout the study.
Hepatoprotective effects
Sasidharan et al. (2009) demonstrated the hepatoprotective
effects of E. guineensis against paracetamol induced liver
damage by looking at the histopathology of mice liver. This
was subsequently followed up by a serum analysis in which the
same authors (Sasidharan et al., 2012), reported that the
methanol extract of the leaves of the plant also offer
hepatoprotection against paracetamol induced-liver damage in
mice by reducing serum markers of liver injury such aspartate
aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and billirubin.
Anti-diabetic effects
Kalman et al. (2013) reported that the ethanol-derived leaf
extract of E. Guineensis provided a clinically significant,
positive effect on fasting plasma glucose levels in individuals
with pre-diabetes who were treated with the leaf extract in a
dose dependent manner in human subjects. A 500 mg low dose
of E. guineensis was shown to have had a more consistent
effect on reducing glycemia than the higher 1000 mg dose over
an eight week period.
Anti-inflammatory activity
Oil palm ethanolic leaf extract (OPLE) at 150 mg/kg body
weight showed significant pro-inflammatory activity with
enhanced 46% late phase inflammation recovery effects. While
at high dose, inflammation was significantly suppressed prior
to the sixth hour compared to other groups, and did not require
much inflammation suppression between the 18th and 48th
hour. OPLE 150 mg/kg decreased lymphocyte counts, but was
not as severely as dexamethasone treatment. This result
suggests that OPLE extract possess strong in-vivo
inflammatory-regulatory effects (Anyanji et al., 2013).
The main problem for the use of oil palm leaf extract as
food in its natural form is its high content of insoluble fibre.
The OPLE effectively reduced blood glucose and lipid
oxidation in Type II diabetic humans and diabetes-induced
rodents. The optimum dose in animal studies is equivalent to
consuming 5 cups of 1% palm leaf extract for diabetic humans,
to prevent liver and kidney damage (Mohammed, 2014).
Sap of oil palm
Multiple actions
The oil palm sap or wine can be descried as the exudates that
flow when the palm is tapped (Obahiagbon, 2012). The sap of
this plant is also used as a laxative and the partially fermented
palm wine is administered to nursing mothers to improve
lactation (Sasidharan et al., 2012). The sap has also been
recorded to be involved in malaria, jaundice and measles
treatment. Just like the sap of other palms like Raphia,
researches conducted by authors like Obahiagbon and
Oviasogie (2007), and Obahiagbon et al. (2007) have shown
that the sap contains numerous phytonutrients which plays
significant roles in human health. Soap prepared with ash from
fruit-husk is used for the preparation of a soap used for skin
infections (Sasidharan et al., 2012).
Roots of oil palm
Multiple actions
A root decoction is used in Nigeria for headaches. The
pulverized roots are added to drinks for gonorrhea,
menorrhagia and as a cure for bronchitis (Sasidharan et al.,
2012; Irvin, 1985). Chong et al. (2009) demonstrated the in
vitro anti-microbial activity and fungitoxicity of syringic acid,
caffeic acid and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid which are found in oil
palm root. They also showed that of the three substances,
syringic acid was the most fungitoxic against G. boninense.
CONCLUSION
Oil palm (E. guineensis) parts and products have been used in
various parts of the world for different purposes. The traditional
uses of the different parts of the plant have been well
documented in this review. Virtually all the different parts of
the plant have one or more therapeutic effects. The plant has
Medicinal uses of oil palm
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been used extensively in local treatment of various ailments
while the scientific uses of the plants have also been
documented. The therapeutic effects of this plant have been
attributed to the abundant anti-oxidants present in various parts
of the plant. However investigations on the actual mechanisms
by which the anti-oxidants perform their functions are still
ongoing. Also, this review shows that products obtained from
oil palm are safe for consumption at moderate doses in humans
and rodents.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors are grateful to their respective institutions for the
conductive environment provided for this review.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.
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... Agban et al. [23] and Aiyelaagbe et al. [24], have previously reported the antibacterial effect of the leaves, stems, and roots extract of Jatropha multifida Linn. Indeed, E. guineensis (kernel oil) extract has been used over the years in Nigeria in the treatment and management of various skin diseases and infections in both humans and animals [25]. ...
... On the other hand, E. guineensis (kernel oil) extract is also commonly known to be used in South-Eastern Nigerian communities over the years to treat various skin diseases in humans and animals [25]. Mboui [16] reported that the mineral components of E. guineensis (kernel oil), particularly zinc, induced complete wound healing after 2 weeks of daily application. ...
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... The most recent inhibition zone with a disc diffusion approach has been observed. Moreover, Owoyele and Owolabi (2014) observed that palm oil does not quickly diffuse in the agar and remained at the disc surface by using the disc diffusion test and thus does not show anti-bacterial activity. ...
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... As a remedy for chemical and other variety of poisons, Nguefack et al. (2017) reports that it is used by local inhabitants of Yaounde, Cameroun as a quick antidote before clinical presentation. While together with other herbs, its administration is said to act as antidotes for several poisonous agents including chemicals in South East and South Western Nigeria (Owoyele and Owolabi 2014). Its efficacy has been reported for the treatment of Cyanide poisoning due to consumption of poorly processed cassava (Manihotesculanta Crantz) (Ononogbu 1990;Uvere 1999). ...
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... Used to treat headache, pain, malaria, cancer, boils, diarrhea, convulsion and gastrointestinal disorder in southern Nigeria. Used to treat gonnorhea, skin infection, bronchitis, and wound healing in Cameroun and Ghana [153] Methanol leaf extract did not induce acute oral toxicity at 5 g/kg [154]. Consumption of leaf can cause discomfort [62] Hepatitis, meningitis, lassa fever, yellow fever, poliomyelitis ...
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Background Medicinal plants have been used countless times for curing diseases mainly in developing countries. They are easily available with little to no side effects when compared to modern medicine. This manuscript encompasses information on ethnomedicinal plants in Champhai district, located in the North East Region (NER) of India. The region lies within Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot. This study will be the first quantitative report on the ethnomedicinal plants used by the local tribes of this region. Knowledge of medicinal plants is mostly acquired by word of mouth, and the knowledge is dying among the local youths with the prevalence of modern medicine. Hence, there is urgency in deciphering and recording such information. Methods Information was gathered through interviews with 200 informants across 15 villages of the Champhai district. From the data obtained, we evaluate indices such as used report (UR), frequency of citation (FC), informant consensus factor (Fic), cultural values (CVs) and relative importance (RI) for all the plant species. Secondary data were obtained from scientific databases such as Pubmed, Sci Finder and Science Direct. The scientific name of the plants was matched and arranged in consultation with the working list of all plant species (http://www.theplantlist.org). Results Totally, 93 plant species from 53 families and 85 genera were recorded. The most common families are Euphorbiaceae and Asteraceae with six and five species representatives, respectively. Leaves were the most frequently used part of a plant and were usually used in the form of decoction. Curcuma longa has the most cultural value (27.28 CVs) with the highest used report (136 FC), and the highest RI value was Phyllanthus emblica. The main illness categories as per Frequency of citation were muscle/bone problem (0.962 Fic), gastro-intestinal disease (0.956 Fic) and skin care (0.953 Fic). Conclusion The people of Mizoram living in the Champhai district have an immense knowledge of ethnomedicinal plants. There were no side effects recorded for consuming ethnomedicinal plants. We observed that there is a scope of scientific validation of 10 plant species for their pharmacological activity and 13 species for the phytochemical characterisation or isolation of the phytochemicals. This might pave the path for developing a scientifically validated botanical or lead to semisyntheic derivatives intended for modern medicine.
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Background Medicinal plants have been used countless times for curing diseases mainly in developing countries. They are easily available with little to no side effects when compared to modern medicine. This manuscript encompasses information on ethnomedicinal plants in Champhai district, located in the North East Region (NER) of India. The region lies within Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot. This study will be the first quantitative report on the ethnomedicinal plants used by the local tribes of this region. Knowledge of medicinal plants is mostly acquired by word of mouth and the knowledge is dying among the local youths with the prevalence of modern medicine. Hence, there is urgency in deciphering and recording such information. Methods Information was gathered through interviews with 200 informants across 15 villages of the Champhai District. From the data obtained, we calculated the Used Report (UR), Frequency of Citation (FC) and Informant Consensus Factor (Fic) for all the plant species. Secondary data was obtained from scientific databases such as Pubmed, Sci Finder and Science Direct. The scientific name of the plants were matched and arranged in consultation with the working list of all plant species (http://www.theplantlist.org ). Results 93 plant species from 53 families were recorded. The most common families are Euphorbiaceae and Asteraceae with six and five species representatives respectively. Leaves were the most frequently used part of a plant and were usually used in the form of decoction. The plant species with the highest used report (UR) were Curcuma longa L. (136 FC) and Flueggea virosa (126 FC). The main illness categories as per Frequency of citation were Muscle/Bone Problem (0.962 Fic), Gastro-intestinal Disease (0.956 Fic) and Skin Care (0.953 Fic). Conclusion The people of Mizoram living in the Champhai district have an immense knowledge of ethnomedicinal plants. There are no new adverse effects recorded. We observed that there is a scope of scientific validation of 10 plant species for their pharmacological activity and 13 species for the phytochemical characterization or isolation of the phytochemicals. This might pave the path for developing a scientifically validated botanical or lead to semisyntheic derivatives intended for modern medicine.
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