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Traditional Ghanaian medicines effective against tropical diseases

ANI | Updated: Jan 01, 2021 23:36 IST


Washington [US], January 1 (ANI): In a new research, traditional Ghanaian medicines have shown promising results in fighting against tropical diseases in countries like Africa and around the world.
The discovery of new drugs is vital to achieving the eradication of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Africa and around the world. Now, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases have identified traditional Ghanaian medicines which work in the lab against schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis, three diseases endemic to Ghana.
The major intervention for NTDs in Ghana is currently mass drug administration of a few repeatedly recycled drugs, which can lead to reduced efficacy and the emergence of drug resistance.

In the new work, Dorcas Osei-Safo of the University of Ghana, and colleagues obtained--from the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicines Practitioners Association--15 traditional medicines used for treating NTDs in local communities. The medicines were available in aqueous herbal preparations or dried powdered herbs.
In all cases, crude extracts were prepared from the herbs and screened in the laboratory for their ability to treat various NTDs.
Two extracts, NTD-B4-DCM and NTD-B7-DCM, displayed high activity against S. mansoni adult worms, decreasing the movement of the worms by 78.4 per cent and 84.3 per cent respectively. A different extract, NTD-B2-DCM, was the most active against adult Onchocera onchengi worms, killing 100 per cent of males and more than 60 per cent of females. Eight of 26 crude extracts tested, including NTD-B4-DCM and NTD-B2-DCM, also exhibited good activity against trypanosomes -- parasites that cause other human diseases but were not the original targets of the traditional medicines.
"By embracing indigenous knowledge systems which have evolved over centuries, we can potentially unlock a wealth of untapped research and shape it by conducting sound scientific investigations to produce safe, efficacious and good quality remedies," the researchers said. (ANI)

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