Evaluation of Antimalarial Herbal Drugs
Malaria is an acute usually chronic disease caused by Plasmodium and transmitted through female Anopheles mosquito. The disease is frequent in tribal and rural areas. Although a number of synthetic medicines have been used for the treatment of malaria, but they have adverse effects and their high cost is beyond the reach of common people. It is, therefore, worthwhile to look towards antimalarial herbal drugs. Obviously, herbal drugs are cheaper, easily available and with no fear of any side effects.
SCIENTIFIC EVALUATION OF ANTIMALARIAL
HERBS USED IN TRADITIONAL SYSTEM OF MEDICINE Dwivedi S. N.1*, Dwivedi Abhishek2, Dwivedi Sumeet3 and Kaul Shefali4 1, Principal Investigator, UGC Research Project on Medicinal Plants , Department of Botany, Janata PG College, APS University, Rewa- 486002, Madhya Pradesh, India 2, NRI Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India 3, Chordia Institute of Pharmacy, Indore-452010, Madhya Pradesh, India 4, QC Deptt. Plethico Pvt. Ltd., Indore-452010, Madhya Pradesh, India
Malaria is an acute usually chronic disease caused by Plasmodium and transmitted through female Anopheles mosquito. The disease is frequent in tribal and rural areas. Although a number of synthetic medicines have been used for the treatment of malaria, but they have adverse effects and their high cost is beyond the reach of common people. It is, therefore, worthwhile to look towards antimalarial herbal drugs. Obviously, herbal drugs are cheaper, easily available and with no fear of any side effects. The present review is focused on medicinal plants having antimalarial activities and used by the natives of our country for the treatment of malaria.
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Keywords : Antimalarial, Herbal drugs, Synthetic medicines, Medicinal plants, Natives. *Correspondent Author Address
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Rewa- 486 001, Madhya Pradesh, India
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Malaria is caused by four species of protozoal parasite Plasmodium, is endemic most part of India and other tropical countries. The disease is characterized by intermittent fever, chill and raise of temperature. Parasites obtain their food material by liver and RBCS and formed a brown substance called haemozoin, which is a toxic substance. It mixed with the plasma of blood and causes malarial fever. The patients become pale, anemic and weak. Liver and spleen enlargement, diarrhoea and vomiting have also been observed in some cases.
Malaria is one of the major health problems. As per WHO estimates there are 300- 500 millions cases globally and 1.5- 2.7 millions death occur due to malaria each year, 90% of which are in Afria. In India the National Malaria Eradication Programme (NMEP) was started in 1950, achieving near complete disappearance of the disease in 1960s (from 75 millions in 1950 to 0.1 million in 1960). However, due to development of insecticide resistance mosquitoes and other factors, it stages a comeback in the mid 1970s (96.47 millions in 1976) and continues to prevail in endemic/ sub endemic proportions in different areas, conceding that eradication of malaria is not possible. NMEP has been renamed National Antimalarial Programme (NAMP). In 2001 NAMP has reported 72 millions malaria cases, out of which 48% were due to P. falciparum. WHO estimates that actual number of malaria cases in India is 6 times more, i.e. 12-15 millions.
The bark of Cinchona tree growing mostly in Peru was introduced in Europe in the early 17 th century as cure for fever. Later it was realized to be a specific remedy for malaria. Quinine, isolated from Cinchona bark in 1920, replaced the crude preparation and continued to be the major antimalarial drug till 1942. Due to enormous military importance of malaria and its treatment, intense activity was initiated for the development of antimalarial drugs. Chloroquine was produced in USA soon after as a less toxic alternative to Mepacarine. It had already been synthesized and used by Germans in 1934 as Resochin. The Britishers introduced Chloroguanide in 1945. None of above drugs was found to be capable of preventing in vivax malaria. However, no attention was paid to it because of its poor schizontocide action. This class of drug was retested during World War II as radical curative and Primaquine emerged as the most desirable drug. The only important additions of the recent years are Mefloquine, Atovaquone and Artemisinin for resistant falciparum malaria. However, these drugs have adverse effect on our body system. Seeing the harmful effect of synthetic antimalarial drugs, herbal drugs have been preferred to cure the malaria. The aim of using these drugs in relation to malarial infection are :
- To prevent and treat clinical attack of malaria without any side effects.
- To completely eradicate the parasite from the patient’s body.
- To reduce the human reservoir of infection, cut down transmission to mosquitoes.