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Planta Med. 1990 Aug;56(4):371-3.

Antimalarial compounds containing an alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyl moiety from Tanzanian medicinal plants.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


Pure compounds were isolated from plant extracts with antimalarial activity. The extracts were obtained from the tubers of Cyperus rotundus L. (Cyperaceae), the rootbark of Zanthoxylum gilletii (De Wild) Waterm. (Rutaceae), and the rootbark of Margaritaria discoidea (Baill.) Webster (Euphorbiaceae). The most active compounds included (IC50 within brackets): alpha-cyperone (1) (5.5 micrograms/ml), N-isobutyldeca-2,4-dienamide (2) (5.4 micrograms/ml), and securinine (3) (5.4 micrograms/ml). A mixture of autoxidation products of beta-selinene was found to be the most active antimalarial substances obtained from C. rotundus (5.6 micrograms/ml.

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