Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of selected medicinal plants from western Kenya

Elizabeth Odongo, Nelly Mungai, Peggoty Mutai, Esther Karumi, Julius Mwangi, Faith Okalebo, Julia Kimondo, Joseph Omale, Juma Simiyu


Background: Globally, the increase in the burden of diseases related to oxidative damage and inflammation, coupled with the high cost of medication and the side effects of these therapies necessitates a need for more effective, affordable and safer remedies. Thus there still exists a demand for new antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents.

Objectives: To screen selected medicinal plants from Kakamega County for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.

Methodology: Seven medicinal plants used to treat ailments related to oxidative damage and inflammation were selected and extraction was carried out using methanol. Antioxidant activity was screened using 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl assay while carrageenan induced rat paw edema assay was used to screen for their anti-inflammatory activity.

Results: The methanolic leaf extracts of Rhus vulgaris and Phyllanthus fischeri displayed good antioxidant activity with percentage inhibition of 71.4% and 66.7 % respectively. Furthermore, the methanolic leaf extract of Rhus vulgaris displayed significant anti-inflammatory activity while Phyllanthus fischeri had mild activity. Results were considered to be statistically significant when (P<0.05).

Conclusion: These results support the use of Rhus vulgaris and Phyllanthus fischeri in traditional medicine to remedy oxidative damage and inflammatory related diseases. These two plants are potential sources of natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents.

Key words: Medicinal plants, Kakamega County, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory


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