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Parasitol Res. 2013 Nov;112(11):3697-701. doi: 10.1007/s00436-013-3555-4. Epub 2013 Aug 7.

Antiplasmodial activity of ethanolic extracts of some selected medicinal plants from the northwest of Iran.

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Zanjan Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Research Center, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran.


The effectiveness of antimalarial drugs is declining at an ever accelerating rate, with consequent increase in malaria-related morbidity and mortality. The newest antiplasmodial drug from plants is needed to overcome this problem. The aim of this study was to assess antimalarial activity of the ethanolic extracts of 10 different medicinal plants from eight families against Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine-sensitive 3D7 strain. The selection of the hereby studied plants was based on the existing information on their local ethnobotanic history. Plants were dried, powdered, and macerated in a hydroalcoholic solution. Resulting extracts have been assessed for in vitro and in vivo antimalarial and brine shrimp toxicity activities. Of 10 plant species tested, four plants: Althea officinalis L. (Malvaceae), Myrtus communis Linn (Myrtaceae), Plantago major (Plantaginaceae), and Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Papilionaceae) displayed promising antimalarial activity in vitro (50% inhibitory concentration values of 62.77, 42.18, 40.00, and 13.56 μg/mL, respectively) with no toxicity against brine shrimp larvae. The crude extracts of three active plants, G. glabra, M. communis, and A. officinalis, also significantly reduced parasitemia in vivo in female Swiss albino mice at a dose of 400 mg/kg compared to no treatment. Antiplasmodial activities of extracts of A. officinalis and M. communis are reported for the first time.

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