Phytochemical Analysis and In vivo Anti-plasmodial Potential of Nigerian Bambusa vulgaris (L).
Fresh and dry leaves of Bambusa vulgarisare boiled with other herbs and the extract drank daily as traditional antimalarial remedy among the aborigines of South-Western Nigeria. In order to provide a pharmacological basis for this practice, its methanolic leaf extract was therefore subjected to antplasmodial assay using chloroquine-sensitive Plasmodium berghei berghei infected mice. Three doses of this extract (150, 300 and 600 mg/kg body weight) were then administered orally to three groups of mice (six animals per group) and their blood schizonticidal effects investigatedduring early and established infections along with the repository (prophylactic) effect in the mice. Two other groups received normal saline (5 ml) and chloroquine (5 mg/kg) as negative and positive control respectively.The leaf extract doses (150-600 mg/kg/body weight) caused 61.99-83.83 % inhibition of parasitaemia in the suppressive test, 59.45-80.05 % parasitaemia inhibition in prophylactic test and a mean survival time of 18.01 ± 0.86 - 26.99 ± 0.23 days, representing 68.43-90.43 % inhibition of parasitaemia in the curative test. These effects were comparable to those of the standard drug, chloroquine (5 mg/kg/day) with suppression, prophylactic and mean survival time of 88.99 %, 85.23 % and 30.00 ± 0.01 days (95.60 %) respectively. Preliminary phytochemical screening of the aqueous leaf extract revealed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, reducing sugars, anthraquinones, phenols and cardiac glycosides. The findings from this study suggest that the methanolic leaf extract of B. vulgaris possesses significant (P<0.05) antiplasmodial activity and thus, rationalizing its traditional use in malaria therapy in Nigeria.