Box , Kampala, Uganda. Wounds remain one of the major causes of death worldwide. Over the years medicinal plants and natural compounds have played an integral role in wound treatment. Aspilia africana Pers.
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Metrics details. The potentials of the leaves of the haemorrhage plant, Aspilia africana C. D Adams Compositae in wound care was evaluated using experimental models.
The present study was undertaken to evaluate the potentials for use of leaves of this plant in wound care. Also, the extract and fractions caused varying degrees of inhibition of the growth of clinical isolates of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Staphylococcus aureus , as well as typed strains of Ps.
Acute toxicity and lethality LD 50 test in mice established an i. Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of alkaloids, saponins, tannins, flavonoids, resins, sterols, terpenoids and carbohydrates.
The leaves of A. Peer Review reports. Wounds occur when the continuity of the skin or mucous membrane is broken [ 1 ]. Injury to tissues results in bleeding which may be life-threatening depending on the severity with subsequent activation of acute inflammatory reactions. Bleeding from damaged blood vessels in the injured tissue must be arrested through the process of haemostasis. The injury and associated acute inflammatory response result to necrosis of specialized cells and damage to the surrounding matrix [ 2 ] and the host tissues must activate the healing process to replace dead tissues with healthy ones.
However, microbial infection of the wound impairs the healing process [ 2 ] and may delay tissue repair. Besides the pain and general discomfort arising from injuries or wounds there may be alteration of function which interferes with the individual's ability to carry on with daily life activities.
Consequently, there is an overriding need to stimulate healing and restore the normal functions of the affected part s of the body to ease the discomfort and pain associated with wounds by arresting bleeding from fresh wounds, preventing infection, and activating tissue repair processes.
Several medicinal plants are used in folklore for wound treatment. One of such plants is Aspilia africana C. Adams Compositae , a herb about 1 m tall covered with bristles [ 3 ] and commonly known as "haemorrhage plant" due to its ability to stop bleeding from fresh wounds [ 4 ].
The morphological features have been fully described [ 3 , 6 ]. In wound care in herbal medicine, the bruised leaves and flowers of A. In addition, it is also used for the treatment of rheumatic pains [ 4 ] as well as bee and scorpion stings [ 5 ]. The decoction has been used to remove corneal opacities and foreign bodies from the eyes [ 5 ].
The haemostatic [ 8 ], antibacterial [ 9 ], membrane stabilization [ 10 ] and anti-inflammatory [ 11 ] activities of A. The isolation of a number of terpenoids from the leaves of A. Africana has been documented. Sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes were isolated from the essential oil of the leaves [ 13 ]. A comparative phytochemical analysis of the leaves of A.
The ethnomedicinal uses of this plant suggest its usefulness in wound treatment and stimulated our interest to study the leaf extracts for potential application in wound care. Fresh leaves of A. The leaves were cut into smaller pieces, dried under the sun for 2 days and pulverized to powder using a hand blender.
The leaf powder g was extracted with methanol by cold maceration for 48 h to obtain the methanol extract ME. A fresh batch of leaf powder g was successively extracted with n-hexane and methanol to obtain the n-hexane HF and methanol fractions MF. The extract and fractions were concentrated in a rotary evaporator under reduced pressure to afford The extract and fractions were subjected to phytochemical analysis for identification of constituents using standard methods [ 15 ].
The animals were housed in groups in cages within the facility and maintained freely on standard pellets and water. They were allowed to acclimatize to the work area environment for two weeks prior to use. The acute toxicity and lethality LD 50 of the methanol extract ME was determined in mice using the method of Lorke [ 16 ].
Briefly, adult albino rats — g of both sexes were divided into five groups of three animals each. Control animals received either the vehicle or normal saline. The tail of each rat was cut with a sharp pair of scissors. The cut was dabbed with a small piece of filter paper every 15 s until the paper no longer stained red with blood oozing from the cut.
Bleeding time was taken as the time for the first drop of blood to show to the time when the filter paper stopped showing bloodstain [ 17 ]. The effect of the extract and fractions on coagulation of fresh blood was evaluated using the coagulation time of whole rat blood. Adult albino rats — g of both sexes were divided into 8 groups of three animals each.
Each animal was anaesthetized with chloroform and the thoracic cavity opened to expose the aorta. The aorta was severed and 1 ml of blood withdrawn using a plastic disposable syringe. The blood was quickly delivered into clean paraffin-coated glass tubes 10 mm diameter containing 0. The vehicle or normal saline was used as the control. The glass tubes were swirled every 15 s to check the fluidity of the contents.
The interval between the introduction of the blood and the time of clot formation was taken as the coagulation time [ 17 ]. The effect of extract and fractions on microbial wound contaminants was evaluated using the antimicrobial activity on wound isolates.
Clinical wound isolates were collected in sterile swab sticks from patients prior to dressing of the wounds. These patients were selected without age and gender discrimination and all had infected wounds from various causes. The isolates were characterized and identified using gram staining, colony characterization, cetrimide agar, gelatin liquefaction, sodium chloride and mannitol fermentation tests [ 18 ]. Antimicrobial activity test was performed using the agar well diffusion method of Lovian [ 19 ].
Using a sterile cork borer 7 mm diameter , 6 wells were bored on the agar and three drops of one of the ME, HF or MF 0. Microbial sensitivity was determined in triplicate. After incubation, the diameter of inhibition zone for each well was measured horizontally and vertically and the mean obtained. The effect of the extract and fractions on the rate of wound healing activity was evaluated using wound epithelialisation time in rats. Adult albino rats — g of both sexes were divided into 4 groups of 6 animals each.
Control animals received the vehicle. An excision wound of about mm 2 was created on the inner surface of the right hind leg using sterile surgical blades. Extract and fractions were administered orally to the animals once daily for ten days starting from the day of wound creation. Wound circumference was measured daily for the ten days and the period of epithelialisation was calculated as the number of days required for the scar to fall off leaving no raw wound [ 20 ].
The extraction process yielded 4. The methanol extract ME gave positive reactions for alkaloids, saponins, tannins, flavonoids, resins, steroids, terpenoids and carbohydrates.
The n-hexane fraction HF tested positive for sterols and terpenoids while the methanol fraction MF gave positive reactions for alkaloids, glycosides, saponins, flavonoids, tannins, resins, steroids and carbohydrates Table 1.
The acute toxicity testing of the methanol extract ME in mice gave an i. On coagulation of whole blood, the extract and fractions decreased the coagulation time of whole rat blood in a dose-dependent manner. Characterization of the clinical wound isolates established their identity as species of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Staphyloccocus aureus Table 4.
The extract and fractions exhibited varying levels of inhibitory effect on these bacteria. The methanol fraction MF caused the greatest inhibitory effect against all the organisms followed by ME with the n-hexane fraction HF exhibiting the least activity Table 4. The methanol fraction MF caused the highest reduction while ME and n-hexane fraction HF exhibited comparable levels of reduction Table 5. Evaluation of the potentials of A. In separate studies elsewhere, A. Haemostasis involves the spontaneous arrest of bleeding from damaged blood vessels [ 21 ] which is important for initiation of tissue repair processes and prevention of tissue death through haemorrhage.
The haemostatic process proceeds through a cascade of reactions, which starts with vascular spasm of the ruptured vessels [ 22 , 23 ], formation of platelet plug through platelet aggregation, and coagulation of the blood [ 22 ].
Leaf extracts of A. However, blood clotting and coagulation also involve other mechanisms such as prothrombin activation with its subsequent conversion to thrombin and which in turn converts fibrinogen to insoluble fibrin [ 22 ]. The reduction of coagulation time of whole blood by the leaf extracts is an indication that the extracts may also interfere with the blood coagulation pathways.
Thus, the haemostatic effect of the extract may derive from acceleration of the coagulation process with the consequent reduction in clotting time as well as vasoconstriction which are necessary in limiting blood loss from damaged vessels. Wounds provide environments conducive for the growth of microbial organisms.
Usually, microbial contaminations of wounds involve a variety of organisms such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium tetani, Coliform bacilli and enterococcus [ 24 , 25 ]. Evaluation of the effect of the extractives on clinically isolated microbial contaminants of wounds showed varying levels of inhibitory activity against species of Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus.
Microbial infection of wounds delays healing [ 25 , 26 ] and causes a more pronounced acute inflammatory reaction [ 2 ] which can lead to further tissue injury and damage. Thus, the antimicrobial activity of the extract and fractions on these wound isolates may partly contribute to the wound healing effect by eliminating infection thus allowing the natural tissue repair processes to start.
It also suggests that the leaf extracts may also play a useful role in accelerating the healing of old wounds by eradicating already established infection. The antimicrobial activity of honey and the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia is believed to underlie their usefulness as alternative therapy in wound healing [ 25 , 27 , 28 ].
In addition to inhibiting the growth of these micro-organisms, the extract and fractions effectively reduced the epithelialisation period of experimentally-induced wounds which is an index of pro-healing activity. The precise aspect as well as the exact mechanism of wound healing affected by the extract and fractions is yet to be elucidated. In the tissue repair process, inflammatory cells promote the migration and proliferation of endothelial cells, leading to neovascularisation of connective tissue cells which synthesize extracellular matrices including collagen, and of keratinocytes resulting to re-epithelialisation of the wounded tissue [ 29 ].
In the wound healing process, collagen formation peaks at day 7 and epithelialisation occurs in 48 h under optimal conditions [ 30 ]. The extent to which the extractives interact with these processes is not known to us.
Phytochemical analysis of the extract and fractions indicated the presence of typical plant constituents such as alkaloids, saponins, sterols, terpenoids, carbohydrates, glycosides and tannins.
These metabolites are usually responsible for the pharmacological activities of medicinal plants. In addition to this, the documented identification of the abundant presence of saponins and tannins in the leaves of this plant [ 14 ] is implicating for these constituents in the activities of the leaf extracts, especially tannins, which have been implicated in the haemostatic activity of plants where they arrest bleeding from damaged or injured vessels by precipitating proteins to form vascular plugs.
To a reasonable extent, going by the quantified relative presence in the leaves of this plant and documented role in haemostatic activity, we may safely assume that the tannins in the extracts partly contribute to the activity since mechanisms other than vascular plugs formation are likely involved. The leaf extract and fractions of A.
Aspilia africana , also known as the haemorrhage plant or wild sunflower ,  is one of about 50 species of the genus Aspilia. Aspilia africana is a semi-woody herb from a perennial woody root-stock to cm high. Leaves are cm long and lanceolate. The fruit are It is widely distributed across tropical Africa, occurring on grasslands , woodlands , forest margins, and abandoned cultivated zones. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Adams .
Herbs & People. Aspilia Africana: The Unique Anti-Haemorrhage Plant.
Several medicinal plants have been documented for their haematological effects either at low or high concentration but very little is known about Aspilia africana. The aim of the study was to investigate the acute effects of aqueous leaf extract of Aspilia africana at different concentrations on some haematological parameters in rats. Following 14 days of oral administration of aqueous extract of A. The results of this study further strengthened the earlier works on the medicinal benefits of Aspilia africana and its virtue as a good pharmacological source of haematopoiesis.
Box , Kampala, Uganda. Wounds remain one of the major causes of death worldwide. Over the years medicinal plants and natural compounds have played an integral role in wound treatment. Aspilia africana Pers. Adams which is classified among substances with low toxicity has been used for generations in African traditional medicine to treat wounds, including stopping bleeding even from severed arteries. This review examined the potential of the extracts and phytochemicals from A. In vitro and in vivo studies have provided strong pharmacological evidences for wound healing effects of A.