Current Issue

Volume:1, Issue:1- Review Article

Bioactive Compounds in Medicinal Plants: A Condensed Review

Swabha Takshak *

Abstract

Herbal drugs form the basis of all ancient medicines and majority of modern-day medicines. They are derived, the world over, from medicinal plants. The pharmacological properties of herbal drugs derived from these plants are rooted in the plants‟ secondary metabolites. The plant secondary metabolites with known pharmacological significance are more appropriately called as bioactive compounds. The present review summarizes their emerging importance, classification, and pharmacological significance. The classification terminology presented here is based on that given by M. Daniel in his book, Medicinal PlantsChemistry and Properties, since it is one of the most comprehensive classifications available in published literature. As the need and demand for plant-based medicines increase, so will the exploitation of their resources. Hence, the present review also explores the plausible futuristic perspectives pertaining to their efficient utilization and conservation.

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Volume:1, Issue:1- Research Article

Use of Putative Antimalarial Herbal Medicines among Communities in Trans-Mara, Kuria and Suba Districts of Kenya

Grace K Nyambati1, Rosebella O Maranga,Hastings Ozwara, and Paul K Mbugua *

Abstract

Malaria is a major health problem in the tropics and subtropics with profound medical, social and economic consequences. Herbal medicines are traditionally used for the management and treatment of the disease by various communities in Kenya. Sources and community knowledge of the herbs are not adequately documented. The aim of the study was to collect and document ethnobotanical information regarding anti-malarial herbs among local communities in Trans-Mara, Kuria and Suba districts of Kenya. Cluster sampling technique was used to sample putative anti-malarial herbal plants in the districts, and their taxonomy identified using taxonomic keys. Plant parts subsequently and separately harvested from fields and scientifically identified in the herbarium. Semi-structured questionnaires and interviews were then administered to selected herbalists and local community (n = 150/district) regarding preparation and potential application of the herbs in the treatment of malaria in respective study regions. And data on gender, age and marital status of the respondents were obtained. Eighteen (18) anti-malarial herbal plant species were collected and identified. More females (74%) than males (63%) potentially use the herbs for anti-malarial applications. Marital status significantly influenced c2(1) =21.648, p<0.001) potential anti-malarial use of the herbs, with more married than unmarried respondents using the herbs. Similarly, age significantly (F (1,144) =32.002, p<0.001) potential anti-malarial herbs mostly applied with mature and experienced members of the community, which might be related to their societal responsibilities and/or previous experiences. Use of herbs to treat/manage malaria in the three districts were correlating. In vivo and in vitro validation of the anti-malarial potential in the herbs will shed light on the medical implications of the herbs on the community which in turn will inform alternative local interventions against malaria.

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Volume:1, Issue:1- Review Article

Environmental Studies and Community Development: Community livelihood practices and opportunities of Scaling -up conservation of Melia Volkensii Gűrke in Makueni County, Kenya

Sarah Muthenya*, and Josiah Kinama

Abstract

Due to its unique qualities and increasing demand in timber and fodder production, the population of Melia volkensii in dry land ecosystems of Makueni Kenya has been declining over the last decade. The study focussed on opportunities of scaling-up and mainstreaming conservation M.volkensii community livelihood practices at the community level. Data was collected using a variety of methods including questionnaire surveys, Focus Group Discussions, environmental checklists and laboratory analysis of the plant as a livestock feed. A sample size of 400 households representing people directly interacting with the tree was targeted. Focus Group Discussions were carried out in different areas as a means to verify questionnaire output and build consensus on emerging issues. In-depth interviews were carried out with key informants who were chosen on the strength of their wealth of knowledge on the tree. Data was analysed using standard descriptive and inferential statistics. Regression results between livelihood practices and decline in M. volkensii yielded an R-value of -0.799, which indicates that community livelihood practices particularly timber, poles, fuel wood and fodder productions are responsible for the decline of M. volkensii in the study area. As such M. volkensii can be adopted as an important agroforestry tree species in dry land livestock production systems. Increasing accessibility to seedlings and technical skills on breaking seed dormancy are a great opportunity in scaling-up the conservation of the tree.

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