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Pharmacological evidence favouring the ethnomedicinal use of Luffa cylindrica (L.) Roem leaf in the relief of pain and fever

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A study to investigate the ethnobotanical use of Luffa cylindrica (L.) Roem leaf in pain and fever relief was carried out. Methanolic extract was obtained from leaves of Luffa cylindrica and was subjected to phytochemical screening using standard procedure of Trease and Evans (1989). Analgesic effect of the plant was carried out by inducing pain in mice in the form of abdominal constriction using glacial acetic acid. The antipyretic property of the plant was also investigated in rats by yeast-induced pyrexia. Phytochemical analysis of methanolic extract of L. cylindrica leaves revealed the presence of saponins, tannins, phenolics, alkaloids, triterpenes, flavonoids and cardiac glycosides in appreciable amounts. The extract showed a significant (p < 0.05) inhibition of abdominal constriction in mice induced with pain sensation in a dose-dependent manner. Antipyretic activity of the plant was evident by a significant reduction (p < 0.05) in rectal temperature at all investigated doses (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg body weight) and was time dependent. Methanolic extract of Luffa cylindrica leaves exhibited potent analgesic and antipyretic activities which therefore supports the ethnopharmacological use of the plant.
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Official Publication of Direct Research Journal of Health and Pharmacology: Vol.7 (4), August 2019, ISSN 2449-0814
Direct Research Journal of Health and Pharmacology
Vol.7 (4), pp. 38-42, August 2019
ISSN 2449-0814
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3228522
Article Number: DRJHP16837191
Copyright © 2019
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article
https://directresearchpublisher.org/drjhp/
Full Length Research Paper
Pharmacological evidence favouring the ethnomedicinal
use of Luffa cylindrica (L.) Roem leaf in the relief of pain
and fever
*Saliu, O. A.1, Akanji, M. A.2, Idowu, O. A.2 and Saliu, N. B.3
1Department of Environmental Health Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, National Open University of Nigeria, Abuja,
Nigeria.
2Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Ilorin, Ilorin Kwara State, P.M.B 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria.
3National Universities Commission, Abuja, Nigeria.
*Corresponding Author E-mail: remisaliu@yahoo.com
Received 30 July 2019; Accepted 14 August, 2019
A study to investigate the ethnobotanical use of Luffa
cylindrica (L.) Roem leaf in pain and fever relief was carried
out. Methanolic extract was obtained from leaves of Luffa
cylindrica and was subjected to phytochemical screening
using standard procedure of Trease and Evans (1989).
Analgesic effect of the plant was carried out by inducing
pain in mice in the form of abdominal constriction using
glacial acetic acid. The antipyretic property of the plant was
also investigated in rats by yeast-induced pyrexia.
Phytochemical analysis of methanolic extract of L. cylindrica
leaves revealed the presence of saponins, tannins,
phenolics, alkaloids, triterpenes, flavonoids and cardiac
glycosides in appreciable amounts. The extract showed a
significant (p < 0.05) inhibition of abdominal constriction in
mice induced with pain sensation in a dose-dependent
manner. Antipyretic activity of the plant was evident by a
significant reduction (p < 0.05) in rectal temperature at all
investigated doses (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg body weight)
and was time dependent. Methanolic extract of Luffa
cylindrica leaves exhibited potent analgesic and antipyretic
activities which therefore supports the
ethnopharmacological use of the plant.
Keywords: Luffa cylindrica, acetic acid, acetylsalicyclic acid,
paracetamol, methanol
INTRODUCTION
Medicinal plants have been used for centuries as
remedies to cure different ailments of mankind because
they contain components of therapeutic values.
Phytochemicals which are considered as secondary
metabolite components are directly responsible for the
medicinal activities of plants. These include antioxidant,
antimicrobial, antifungal, anticancer and anti-
inflammatory activities (Kakate, 1997). Approximately
80% of people in developing countries depend on
traditional medicine for primary health care (Bashal and
Sudarsanam, 2012). Application of traditional herbal
medicine to treat various ailments, infections, diseases as
well as in maintaining the physical and psychological
wellbeing of a large number of people have been in
existence for many decades. Traditional herbal medicine
include all kinds of folk medicine, unconventional
medicine and indeed any kind of therapeutic methods
used locally by people for the treatment of different
ailments. In Nigeria, more than 60% of the populace in
the rural areas depends on traditional medicine for
Official Publication of Direct Research Journal of Health and Pharmacology: Vol.7 (4), August 2019, ISSN 2449-0814
Saliu et al. 39
treatment of different kind of illnesses (Ghani et al.,
1989). Various parts of plants are prepared locally either
as concoction or decoction to treat ailments. Also some
medicinal plants have been used as source of inspiration
for the development of novel drugs (Robbers and Tylor,
1996). Most plants that are locally used are relatively
safer than the synthetic alternatives; they are readily
available, cheaper and work effectively without side effect
(Iwu et al., 1999). Despite the milestone recorded, the full
potential of plants is yet to be fully exhausted. A typical
example is Luffa cylindrica which has been reported to
have ethnomedicinal values but the pharmacological
basis for the ethnomedicinal use is yet to be documented.
Description of Luffa cylindrica
Luffa cylindrica (L.) Roem commonly called sponge gourd
is a vegetable that belongs to the family of Cucurbitacea.
It is a sub-tropical plant that requires warm summer
temperature and also well cultivated in tropical countries
in Asia and Africa. The leaves are alternate and
palmately lobed, of a light green color and almost
destitute of taste. The flowers are monoecious, petals
five, united below into a bell shaped corolla; anthers
cohering in a mass; ovary two celled, style slender,
stigmas three, both male and female flowers are on the
same plant and are pollinated by bees. The fruit is
elliptical ovate, fleshy and dehiscent with a green
epidermis, longitudinally marked with black ridges varying
from 10-15 in a number. Under each of these ridges is
found a tough woody fiber.
Ethnomedicinal use of Luffa cylindrica
In Nigeria, the decoction of the plant leaves is consumed
locally to treat malaria (Azeez et al., 2013). There are
also report on the local use of the leaves of the plant to
treat wounds (Azeez et al., 2013), fever and jaundice
(Neuwinger, 2000), and to alleviate pain and
inflammation (Khan et al., 2013). However, there is
paucity information on the scientific validation of the
analgesic and antipyretic properties of the plant. This
study therefore probes into the analgesic and antipyretic
activities of L. cylindrica (L.) Roem leaves.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Plant collection
Fresh leaves of Luffa cylindrica (L.) Roem were collected
from Suleja, Niger State at early hours in the month of
July, 2015. The plant was authenticated at National
Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development
(NIPRD), Abuja with voucher number (6650) deposited in
the herbarium of the institute.
Preparation of plant extract
The leaves of L. cylindrica (L.) Roem were air-dried and
pulverized with mechanical blender (Mazeda Mill, MT
4100, Japan). 500 g of the pulverized leaves was
macerated in 1 litre of absolute methanol (99%) for 72 h
with concomitant shaking using a stirrer. The resulting
extract was filtered with cotton wool and with W hatman
(No. 1) paper respectively. The filtrate obtained was
concentrated in a rotary evaporator (RE-300B model,
China) at 60 65oC and was dried to a constant weight
on a water bath to give a yield of 28% (w/w). The extract
was reconstituted into appropriate concentrations used
for analgesic and antipyretic experiments.
Experimental animals
Both sexes of Swiss Albino mice (24.0 - 26.0 g) and
Wistar rats (180 – 250 g) were used for analgesic and
antipyretic study respectively. The animals were bred in
the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology,
National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and
Development (NIPRD), Abuja, Nigeria. They were
housed in cages under 12:12 h light/dark cycle conditions
and were fed with commercial pellet (Platinum Feed Mills
Company, Nigeria) and had water ad libitum.
Ethical approval
Ethical approval for using the experimental animals was
issued by the University of Ilorin Ethical Committee on
the use of experimental animals.
Drugs and chemicals
Methanol, glacial acetic acid (Searle, England), aspirin
(Sigma, USA) and paracetamol used in this study were
obtained commercially.
Phytochemical screening
Phytochemical constituents in the methanolic extract of L.
cylindrica leaves were screened by standard screening
procedure described by Trease and Evans, (1989).
Alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, anthraquinones,
triterpenes, phenolic, phlobatannins and cardiac
glycosides were determined qualitatively and
quantitatively.
Acetic acid induced writhing in mice
Acetic acid was used to induce abdominal constriction
(writhes) in mice according to the method of Koster et al.
Official Publication of Direct Research Journal of Health and Pharmacology: Vol.7 (4), August 2019, ISSN 2449-0814
Direct Res. J. Health Pharm. 40
Table 1. Secondary metabolites of methanolic extract off Luffa cylindrica
leaf.
Secondary metabolites
Composition mg/g
Saponins 0.98 ± 0.03
Tannins 3.58 ± 0.90
Anthraquinones ND
Triterpenes 17.45 ± 2.16
Phenolic 9.16 ± 0.12
Flavonoids 7.45 ± 0.49
Alkaloids 11.35 ± 0.07
Phlobatannins ND
Cardaic glycosides 0.05 ± 0.01
(1959). Mice were grouped into five groups consisting of
five mice each and treated as follows: Group I served as
the control and received appropriate volume of distilled
water, group II, III and IV received 100, 200 and 400
mg/kg b.w of the extract respectively and group V served
as the reference group administered 100 mg/kg b.w
acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). Administration of vehicle and
extract was done intraperitoneally (i.p). After 30 min of
administration of water/extract/standard drug, 10 ml/kg of
0.75% aqueous solution of acetic acid was injected i.p to
each rat to cause pain sensation. Each mouse was gently
housed in a transparent cage and after 5 min of post-
administration of acetic acid, the number of abdominal
constrictions for each mouse was counted using a
manual table counter for 10 min. % inhibition of writhes
was calculated using the expression:
Percentage pain inhibition = Control mean - Test mean x 100
Control mean
Yeast-induced pyrexia (fever)
The antipyretic activity of the extract was investigated in
rats by adopting the method described by Al-Ghamdi,
(2001). The rats were injected subcutaneously with 10
ml/kg of 15% suspension of yeast in distilled water to
induce pyrexia. The rectal temperature of each rat was
measured 24 h before and after yeast injection with a
clinical thermometer respectively. Rats that did not show
minimum increase of 0.5oC in temperature 24 h post-
yeast injection were discarded. Twenty five selected rats
were grouped into five (n=5) and treated as follows:
Group 1 received distilled water and 10 ml/kg saline,
groups 2, 3 and 4 received the extract at a dose of 100,
200 and 400 mg/kg b.w respectively while group 5
received 20 mg/kg b.w of paracetamol which served as
the reference drug group. The rectal temperature of each
rat was repeatedly measured at 30 min intervals for 120
min post-treatment.
Statistical data analysis
Two ways ANOVA was used to analyze and compare
means data, followed by Dunnet’s test for multiple
comparisons.
RESULTS
Phytochemical screening
Phytochemical analysis of methanolic extract of L.
cylindrica (L.) Roem leaves indicated the presence of
alkaloids (11.35 ± 0.07 mg/g), flavonoids (7.45 ± 0.49
mg/g), phenolic (9.16 ± 0.12 mg/g), cardiac glycosides
(0.05 ± 0.01 mg/g), triterpenes (17.45 ± 2.16 mg/g),
tannins (3.58 ± 0.90 mg/g) and saponins (0.98 ± 0.03
mg/g). Triterpenes was the most predominantly
secondary metabolites found in the extract followed by
alkaloids while cardiac glycosides were the least (Table
1).
Analgesic effect
Methanolic leaf extract of L. cylindrica (L.) Roem
significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the degree of abdominal
constriction induced in mice by the administration of
acetic acid intraperitoneally at all investigated doses and
was dose-dependent. It was observed that 100 mg/kg
b.w of the extract showed the lowest writhing/pain
inhibition (52.38%) while 400 mg/kg showed the most
potent inhibition (61.42%). The extract at 400 mg/kg b.w
also demonstrated a comparable inhibition of abdominal
constriction with acetylsalicylate (ASA) adopted as the
standard drug in this study which elicited 77.21%
inhibition activity (Table 2).
Antipyretic effect
Table 3 depicts the antipyretic effect of administration of
methanolic extract of L. cylindrica (L.) Roem leaves in
rats. The crude extract caused a significant alteration (p <
0.05) in rectal temperature of rats at the three doses
investigated by markedly lowering the rectal temperature
30 min post-treatment of the extract when compared with
Official Publication of Direct Research Journal of Health and Pharmacology: Vol.7 (4), August 2019, ISSN 2449-0814
Saliu et al. 41
Table 2. Effect of methanolic extract of L. cylindrica leaves on acetic acid-induced writhing in mice.
Treatment (i.p)
No of writhing
% inhibition
Control
23.33 ± 3.84
-
100 mg/kg b.w MELC
11.11 ± 0.33
52.38*
200 mg/kg b.w MELC
10.43 ± 1.20
55.29*
400 mg/kg b.w MELC
9.00 ± 3.06
61.42*
ASP (100 mg/kg b.w)
8.67 ± 0.58
62.84*
The results given are mean ± S.E.M in five replicates; *p < 0.05 as compared to control groups
ASP – acetylsalicyclate, MELC – methanolic leaf extract of L. cylindrica, i.p - intraperitoneal
Table 3. Effect of methanolic extract of L. cylindrica leaves on yeast-induced pyrexia in rats.
Treatment (i.p)
Rectal temperature (
°
C
)
-
24
0 h
0.5 h
1 h
2 h
Saline(10ml/kg)
-
37.20 ± 0.12
38.73 ± 0.90
39.70 ± 0.12
39.23 ± 0.19
39.20 ± 0.06
MELC
100
37.43 ± 0.26
38.7 0± 0.53
38.30 ± 0.13*
38.12 ± 0.12*
37.50 ± 0.06*
MELC
200
37.40 ± 0.27
39.10 ± 0.20
37.77 ± 0.09*
37.53 ± 0.22*
36.73 ± 0.09*
MELC
400
37.43 ± 0.24
38.97 ± 0.44
37.50 ± 0.23*
37.33 ± 0.15*
36.50 ± 0.20*
Paracetamol
20 37.37 ± 0.03
38.40 ± 0.31
37.27 ± 0.17*
37.13 ± 0.09*
36.37 ± 0.15*
The results given are mean ± S.E.M in five replicates; *p < 0.05 as compared to control groups
MELC – methanolic leaf extract of L. cylindrica
the saline group. The rectal temperature was significantly
(p < 0.05) lowered in a time dependent manner at treated
doses. Similar trend was also observed in the group
administered paracetamol. The extract at 400 mg/kg b.w
of the extract exhibited the most remarkable antipyretic
activity.
DISCUSSION
The phytochemical constituents detected in the
methanolic extract of Luffa cylindrica (L.) Roem leaves in
this study have been reported to be present in methanolic
fruits extract of this plant (Fahima et al., 2014). Similarly,
they have also been reported to be present in the leaf
extract of this plant collected from Adamawa State in
North-eastern part of Nigeria (Etim et al., 2018). This may
indicate that these secondary metabolites could be
predominantly found in almost all parts of the plants. The
analgesic potential of the extract was studied by using
acetic acid to induce writhing model, a type of visceral
pain model in experimental animals. Abdominal writhing
or constriction is a form of pain characterized with
stretching behavior in animals induced by nociceptive
agents like acetic acid. The mechanism of action of acetic
acid is known to cause writhing usually by increasing
fluids of prostaglandin PGE2 and PGF2α (Deraedt et al.,
1980) at peritoneal receptors (Bentley et al., 1983).
Acetic acid may also acts indirectly by releasing
endogenous substances responsible for exciting the
nerve endings and thus causes pain. To suppress pain,
conventional therapeutic drugs such as aspirin,
ibuprofen, acetaminophen etc are prescribed (Inotai et
al., 2010). These drugs though are associated with some
side effects; they relieve pain either by blocking or
suppressing the production of prostaglandin which
mediate pain through the cyclo-oxygenase (COX-1 and
COX-2) enzyme pathway (Egesie et al., 2011; Shahraki
et al., 2014). The results obtained on acetic acid-induced
writhing in mice indicate that the extract, even at a lower
dose was capable of reducing pain effectively thus
showing analgesic activity. The extract perhaps may
have mimicked the mechanism of action of the
conventional drugs or exert other mechanism to reduce
the pain perception. Similar to this proposed mechanism
of action exhibited by the extract, are the reports of
Cowan (2007) and Shahraki et al. (2014) who gave
submission that methanol and ethanol extracts from Aloe
vera have been proven to have analgesic activity in vivo
and in vitro respectively by suppressing the expression of
cyclo-oxygenase enzymes. The dose-dependent relief of
pain perception observed in this study correlates with the
reports of Saptarini and Deswati, (2015), Ashfaq et al.
(2016) and Anisuzzman et al. (2017) who also reported a
dose-dependent analgesic activity using same model.
Yeast which was used to induce pyrexia in the
experimental rats used for this study similarly acts by
increasing the production of prostaglandins (PGE2) which
mediate fever. The extract was able to lower the rectal
temperature observed in the experimental rats possibly
by suppressing PGE2 synthesis which may have been
facilitated by the presence of flavonoids and other
phytoconstituents in the extract. Flavonoids for instance
have been reported to cause the inhibition of PGE2
(Robak and Gryglewski, 1996) and as well suppress
TNF-α and therefore act as an antipyretic agent
Official Publication of Direct Research Journal of Health and Pharmacology: Vol.7 (4), August 2019, ISSN 2449-0814
(Adesokan et al. 2008). Also Saptarini and Deswati
(2015) attributed the antipyretic activity of leaves extract
of Gossypium arboreum to the presence of flavonoids.
In general, the phytochemical constituents such as
flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins or triterpenes among
others may be responsible for the analgesic and
antipyretic activities exhibited by the extract by acting
either separately or synergistically to express these
activities.
Conclusion
From this study, the methanolic extract of L. cylindrica
(L.) Roem leaves reduced abdominal constriction in mice
and lowered the rectal temperature of rats. These
analgesic and antipyretic activities expressed by the
extract may be attributed to the presence of the
phytochemical constituents identified in the extract. Most
illnesses are characterized with symptoms of either pain
or fever or both and natural plant products are locally
used to relief these symptoms. The evidence of analgesic
and antipyretic activities exhibited by Luffa cylindrica
might be the pharmacological basis for the
ethnobotanical use of the plant to reduce pain and fever.
Authors’ declaration
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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... Etim et al. 11 identified saponins, phenols, tannins, flavonoids, quinolones, glycosides, terpenoids, steroids and alkaloids in the methanol extract of the plant. A study also carried out by Saliu et al. 12 on pharmacological evidence favouring the ethnomedicinal use of L. cylindrica leaf in the relief of pain and fever revealed the presence of saponins, tannins, terpenes, phenolics, flavonoids, alkaloids and cardiac glycosides in methanolic extract of the plant leaf. ...
... In addition, flavonoids, saponins and terpenes are also reported to possess analgesic property 23,24 thus, justifying the use of L. cylindrica leaves in the treatment of pain and enteric fever in folk medicine. Saliu et al. 12 further established the analgesic and antipyretic activities of methanolic extract of L. cylindrica leaf which contained alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins and terpenes in animals. Tannins are capable of precipitating proteins and therefore they possess astringent properties, promote wounds healing and inflamed mucous membranes. ...
... According to our earlier study 41 , the presence of vitamin C and E as well as phenolic compounds like flavonoids and saponins contributes to the antimalarial activity demonstrated by Luffa cylindrica leaf extracts in rats. Also, previous studies on preliminary screening of secondary metabolites have documented the presence of these secondary metabolites identified in the successive leaf extracts of L. cylindrica employing a single solvent 6,11,12 . In this study, the phytochemical screening of the successive leaf extracts of L. cylindrica was obtained using n-hexane, ethyl acetate, methanol and water as solvents for extraction which confirmed the presence of different active ingredients with selective solubility in successive solvents of varying polarities suggest the important role of solvents as a decisive factor 42 . ...
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Background and Objective: Luffa cylindrica is a plant used in the traditional medicine of Nigeria to treat different ailment conditions. Chemical constituents present in plants that are used in traditional medicine were reported to possess pharmacological activities. The present study investigated the pharmacological activities of the phytochemical and microelement constituents of successive extracts of L. cylindrica leaf. Materials and Methods: Different extracts of dried-powder leaves of L. cylindrica were prepared by successive extraction using n-hexane, ethyl acetate, methanol and distilled water. The extracts were screened for the presence of tannins, alkaloids, terpenes, flavonoids, anthraquinones, cardiac glycosides, saponins and phlobatannins using standard methods. Microelements in the dried-powder leaf were determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Results: Tannins, alkaloids, terpenes, flavonoids, cardiac glycosides and saponins were present in varying amounts in the different successive extracts. The dried powder leaf contained considerable amount of potassium (9.80±0.97 mg/100 g), sodium (0.32±0.12 mg/100 g), phosphorus (6.17±0.41 mg/100 g), calcium (0.42±0.97 mg/100 g), magnesium (0.12±0.0 mg/100 g), zinc (7.67±0.02 mg/100 g), chromium (0.70±0.01 mg/100 g), vitamins C (6.92±0.03 mg/100 g) and E (0.11±0.01 mg/100 g). Conclusion: The selective solubility of phytochemicals in the different solvents is responsible for conferring a wide range of therapeutic and pharmacological activities attributed to L. cylindrica thus suggesting the relevance of solvents as a decisive factor for confirming the presence of bioactive principles in plants which could serve as a benchmark in drug discovery. The mineral and vitamin constituents detected in the leaves of L. cylindrica suggested that the plant can serve as a source of dietary supplement for boosting the immune system.
... [14][15][16] Additionally, the pharmacological activities of L. cylindrica are well documented in the literature. [17][18][19] Our previous studies reported the in vitro antioxidant activity 20 and antiplasmodial activities 21 of different extracts of L. cylindrica leaf. Thus, in this study, we investigated the ameliorative potential of methanolic leaf extracts of L. cylindrica in oxidative stressrelated malaria. ...
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Background: Malaria is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa, and oxidative stress has been implicated in malaria disease. Luffa cylindrica is an ethnomedicinal plant used to treat various diseases, including malaria. The oxidative stress-reducing potential of L. cylindrica in malaria-disease state of Plasmodium berghei NK-65 parasite-infected mice was carried out in vivo. Methods: Mice were infected with P. berghei NK-65, and the effect of administration of methanolic leaves extract (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg b.w) of L. cylindrica on percentage parasitemia in blood smear, antioxidant enzymes (catalase CAT, superoxide dismutase SOD, glutathione-s-transferase GST), non-enzymatic antioxidant (reduced glutathione GSH) and malondialdehyde concentration in tissues (plasma, liver, kidneys, and spleen) of mice was investigated and compared to chloroquine and artesunate as reference antimalarial drugs. Phytochemical constituents of the extract were determined by standard methods. Results: Saponins, tannins, terpenes, phenolics, flavonoids, alkaloids, and glycosides were the phytochemical constituents identified in the extract. The extract at three doses (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg b.w.) investigated caused a significant reduction (p < 0.05) of parasite growth with over 90% reduction in parasitemia level in mice infected with the parasite. The extract also ameliorated oxidative stress in mice by significantly (p < 0.05) increasing the activities of CAT, SOD, and GST in the studied tissues of mice. The level of malondialdehyde, a marker of oxidative stress in mice, was also significantly (p < 0.05) reduced by the extract. The results were comparable with chloroquine- and artesunate-treated groups. Conclusion: The study concludes that L. cylindrica is an effective therapy for treating malaria and for the management of its oxidative stress-related complications due to its antioxidant properties.
... In Nigeria, the local names of L. cylindrica are kan-kan oyinbo (Yoruba), Ahia mmala (Igbo), Ihion osa (Edo) and Sooso (Hausa). L. cylindrica has great medicinal values, with the leaves reported to have antiemetic and anti-inflammatory (Khan et al., 2013), analgelsic (Salman et al., 2013), hepatoprotective (Sharma et al., 2014), analgesic and antipyretic (Saliu et al., 2019) activities. In this study, the leaf of the plant was investigated for its free radical and reactive oxygen species scavenging potential. ...
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Free radical and reactive oxygen species scavenging potentials of four solvent extracts of Luffa cylindrica leaf was evaluated in vitro. Leaves of L. cylindrica were extracted with distilled water (aqueous), methanol, ethylacetate, and hexane. The aqueous, methanolic and hexane extracts effectively scavenged 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) in dose dependent manner with the methanolic extract producing the highest DPPH scavenging effect of 96% at a concentration of 50 mg/ml. Also aqueous and methanolic extracts of L. cylindrica leaf showed a dose dependent 2, 2-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzthiazone-6-sulphonic (ABTS) scavenging activity producing 98% and 99% scavenging effect at 50 mg/ml respectively when compared with the synthetic antioxidant, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). The four extracts (aqueous, methanolic, ethylacetate and hexane) expressed significant activity (p < 0.05) for total antioxidant capacity, ferric ion reducing power and as well scavenged hydroxyl ion radical and superoxide anion reactive oxygen species when compared with ascorbic acid. These results establish Luffa cylindrica as an effective natural antioxidant agent and therefore accounts for the wide use of the plant in treating different ailments.
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Luffa cylindrica, popularly known as sponge gourd is a tropic and subtropical fibrous plant with fruits containing black seeds. The fruit is consumed by humans as a vegetable in many parts of Asia, while different parts of the plant are used for cosmetics and as medicine in many parts of the globe. The plant has been used in the treatment of many ailments including nose cancer, snake venom, wound healing, edema, enterobiasis, filaria, whooping cough, stomach upset, stomach pain and malaria. Many health-promoting compounds such as flavonoids (apigenin-7-glucuronide luteolin-7-O-β-D-glucuronide methyl ester,-O-feruloyl-β-D-glucose, luteolin-7-O-β-D-glucuronide methyl ester), phenolics acids (p-Coumaric, gallic, caffeic, chlorogenic), triterpenoids (oleanolic acid and echinocystic acid), saponins (Lucyoside AM), tannins (catechin), ribosome-inactivating proteins (α-luffin), carotenoids (9-cis neoxanthin, all-trans-lutein, all-trans-β-carotene), chlorophylls (chlorophyll a and b, pheophytin), cucurbitacin B and gypsogenin have been detected or isolated from different parts of the plants. Extracts of the plant and isolated compounds have wide spectrum pharmacological activities and have been shown to possess antiemetic, antidiabetic, antiviral, wound healing, anticancer, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, anti-bacteria, anthelmintic, hypoglyce-mic and antihyperglycemic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant activity, and hepato-protective effects in animal models. However, further information is needed on its safety and mechanisms of action. The present article is an updated review of the ethnobotanical uses, pharmacological actions, phytochemistry, safety, and future application of Luffa cylindrica in translational medicine.
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Introduction: Luffa cylindrica is a plant used in folk medicine of Nigeria to treat malaria. Safety evaluation of methanolic leaves extract of Luffa cylindrica was carried out in selected organs of mice at the doses of 50, 100, 200, 400 and 800 mg/kg body weight (b.w). Methodology: Thirty albino mice were completely randomized into six groups consisting of five mice each. Animals in group A served as the control and received 0.2 ml of distilled water while groups B, C, D, E and F received the same volume (0.2 ml) of 50, 100, 200, 400 and 800 mg/kg b.w. methanolic leaves extract of L. cylindrica respectively for 7 days orally. The activity of aspartate, alanine and gamma glutamyl aminotransferases (AST, ALT, GGT), alkaline phosphatase (ALT) as well as histological study in selected organs (spleen, liver and kidney) of mice was assessed. Serum albumin, total and conjugated bilirubin, total protein, urea and creatinine concentrations were also evaluated. Results: The extract significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the activities of ALT, AST and ALP in the selected organs and significantly (p < 0.05) increased their activities in the serum at all doses investigated. GGT activity increased significantly in the serum and decreased significantly in the liver and spleen at 200, 400 and 800 mg/kg b.w. A significant increase (p < 0.05) was observed in urea, total and conjugated bilirubin concentrations while there was no significant alteration observed in the serum albumin, creatinine and total protein concentrations of animals at all the doses compared to the control. Histological changes with evidence of multinucleated giant cells and periportal lymphocytic inflammation occurred in the spleen and liver respectively at 100, 200, 400 and 800 mg/kg b.w. Conclusion: The results suggest that consumption of L. cylindrica leaf extract may have deleterious effect on the kidney, spleen and liver.
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Purpose: To investigate the ethnomedicinal claims regarding the use of Acacia jacquemontii Benth. (Fabaceae) in fever, pain and inflammation. Methods: The methanol root bark extract (AJRBM) of the plant was used in the studies. Preliminary phytochemical screening of the extract was carried out according to established methods. Analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic activities were evaluated using acetic acid-induced writhing, carrageennan-induced rat paw edema and Brewer’s yeast-induced pyrexia models, respectively. The extract was administered at doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg. Aspirin (300 mg/kg, p.o.) was used as a reference drug in all models. Normal saline (10 mL/kg p.o.) was used as negative control. Results: Phytochemical screening results indicate the presence of cardioactive glycosides, tannins, flavonoids and saponins. In the acetic acid-induced writhing model, the methanol extract exhibited significant (p < 0.05) analgesic effect with 58.98 % reduction in writhing response at a dose of 100 mg/kg, compared with untreated control group. The extract significantly (p < 0.05) reduced carrageenan-induced edema at doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg to 36.84 and 47.36 %, respectively, after 1 h of extract administration. The extract exhibited predominantly dose-dependent antipyretic effect in Brewer’s yeast-induced pyrexia model. Maximum reduction in body temperature to 37.07 and 38.29 ºC at doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg, respectively, was observed, compared with untreated group (38.90 ºC) after 1 h, but this was not significant (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The plant extract exerts inhibitory effect on peripheral pain stimuli, edema and dose-dependent anti-pyrexia, and thus justifies the ethnomedicinal use of Acacia jacquemontii Benth. in the management of pain, fever and inflammation. © Pharmacotherapy Group, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin, Benin City, 300001 Nigeria. All rights reserved.
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Luffa cylindrical, otherwise known as Sponge gourd is a fibrous plant with fruits containing black seeds. Luffa plant is a curcurbit with other members including snake gourd, pumpkins and cucumbers. It grows as a flowering annual vine with pollinated flowers developing into cylindrical green fruits filled with seeds in a system of many intertwined cellulose fibres. The fruit is edible especially when young and it contains group of compounds such as phenolics, lavonoids, oleanolic acid, ascorbic acid, a-tocopherol, carotenoids, chlorophylls, triterpenoids and ribosome-inactivating proteins, which makes it highly effective when used for medicinal purpose. Luffa cylindrical contains chemical components that have effects on hypersensitivity reactions, serve as immunostimulant, antiinflamatory agent and function in glycosidase activity, inhibit protein synthesis with structural-function relationship of type I RIPs suggesting potentials for antitumour and antiviral activities, and also induce uterine contraction to hasten child birth (Oxytocics). In this report, the traditional and medicinal uses of Luffa cylindrica were explored and the shortcomings associated with its uses were highlighted and discussed.
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