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PHYTOCHEMICAL STUDIES AND EFFECT OF METHANOL LEAF EXTRACT OF LEPTADENIA HASTATA(PERS.) DECNE (ASCLEPIADACEAE) ON ACETIC ACID INDUCED WRITHES IN MICE AND VENOM OF ECHIS OCELLATUS

 Format: MS-WORD   Chapters: 1-6

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 Sep 21, 2022 |  09:19 pm |  15


PHYTOCHEMICAL STUDIES AND EFFECT OF METHANOL LEAF EXTRACT OF LEPTADENIA HASTATA(PERS.) DECNE (ASCLEPIADACEAE) ON ACETIC ACID INDUCED WRITHES IN MICE AND VENOM OF ECHIS OCELLATUS

1.0 INTRODUCTION

A natural product is a chemical compound or substance produced by a living organism – found in nature that usually has a pharmacological or biological activity for use in pharmaceutical drug discovery and drug design. A natural product can be considered as defined above even if it can be prepared by total synthesis (Newman and Cragg, 2007).



Traditional medicine is  the sum  total  of the knowledge   skills,  and practices  based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis   improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness.


Traditional use of herbal medicines refers to the long historical use of these medicines. Their use is well established and widely acknowledged to be safe and effective, and may be accepted by national authorities (WHO, 2013).


In recent years, the treatments and remedies used in traditional African medicine have gained more appreciation from researchers in Western science. Developing countries have begun to realize the high costs of modern health care systems and the technologies that are required, thus proving Africa's dependence to it. 


Due to this, interest has recently been expressed in integrating traditional  African  medicine  into  the  continent's  national  health  care  system.In  Africa,  the importance of traditional healers and remedies made from indigenous plants play a crucial role in the health of millions.


According to the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), one estimate puts the number of Africans who routinely use these services for primary health care as high as 85% in Sub-Saharan Africa (Bob, 2006).The relative ratios of traditional practitioners and university trained  doctors  in  relation  to  the  whole  population  in  African  countries  showcase  this importance. 


For example, in Ghana, in Kwahu district, for every traditional practitioner there are 224 people, against one university trained doctor for nearly 21,000 (Converse Africa, 2002).



Natural substances are innately superior to man-made or synthetic substances with respect to their side effects and efficacy on human health. About 80 percent of people in developing countries still rely on traditional medicine–based largely on species of plants and animals–for their primary health care.


In the United States, some 25 percent of prescriptions are filled with drugs whose active ingredients are extracted or derived from plants. Sales of these plant-based drugs in the U.S. amounted to some $4.5 billion in 1980 and an estimated $15.5 billion in 1990. Other drugs are derived from animals and microorganisms (Farnsworth et al., 1991).


All 119 plant-derived drugs used worldwide in 1991 came from fewer than 90 of the 250,000 plant species that have been identified. Each such plant is a unique chemical factory, says Norman R. Farnsworth of the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1989, “capable of synthesizing unlimited numbers of highly complex and unusual chemical substances whose structures could [otherwise] escape the imagination forever.” 


In other words, scientists may be able to synthesize these plant compounds in the laboratory, but dreaming them up, rather than plucking them from the forest and then replicating them, is quite another matter.

 

Since the mid-1960s, one-fourth of all prescription drugs dispensed from American pharmacies contained active ingredients derived from flowering plants. Commercially, these plant-derived medicines are worth about $14 billion a year in the United States and $40 billion worldwide. 


In 1985, Lilly Research Laboratories sold roughly $100 million worth of vincristine and vinblastine – the periwinkle derivatives used to treat childhood leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease and turned a stunning 8 percent profit (Robin, 1991).


 

1.1 BRIEF HISTORY OF DRUG DEVELOPMENT

Therapeutic drugs have played a major role in increasing average life expectancy in the world in the last century. However, while many of the drugs in use in the last fifty years or more have been of synthetic or semi-synthetic origin, the pharmacopoeias prior to that period were of natural origin. 


The medicinal value of plants has been recognized by almost every society on this planet. In the nineteenth and earlier centuries, natural product extracts, particularly those derived from botanical species, provided the main source of folk medicines (Dias et al., 2012).



The discovery of new important anti-infective is not limited to searching the microbial kingdom, but includes plant and animal sources as well. 


Artemisinin, a sesquiterpene with an unusual endoperoxide  moiety,  was  isolated  from  the  Chinese  medicinal  plant  commonly known  as Qinghaosu (Artemisia annua), a herbal remedy that had been used in China for centuries for the treatment of malaria. Isolated in 1972 as the active constituent, artemisinin was discovered to be particularly effective for the deadly cerebral malaria. 


Subsequent efforts to develop artemisinin derivatives  with  more  desirable  pharmaceutical  properties  included  many  synthetic  and semisynthetic  studies,  microbial  bio-transformations,  biological  evaluations,  mechanism  of action studies, and pharmacological studies of artemisinin and a number of related analogs (Wu and  Li,  1995;  Lee  and  Hufford,  1990).  


From  these  efforts,  the  semisynthetic  derivative artemether (i) was developed and is now approved for the treatment of malaria in many countries of the world. Thus, a natural substance was transformed into a related semisynthetic substance with superior therapeutic properties.
















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