The study, entitled ACE Inhibitor Activity of Nutritive Plants in Kwa-Zulu Natal, was conducted by Irene Mackraj and S. Ramesar, both of the Department of physiology and physiological chemistry, and H. Baijnath, Department of Biological Sciences and Conservation and the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Durban, South Africa. Dr. Mackraj is to present the findings of the team at the 120th annual meeting of the American Physiological Society, Washington, DC.
Medicinal plants are an integral part of African culture, one of the oldest and most diverse in the world. In South Africa, 21st century, the drug is used side by side with traditional African medicines to heal the sick. Although plants have been used in African medicine to treat fever, asthma, constipation, esophageal cancer and hypertension, scientific analysis of the purported benefits of many plants are still rare. A team of researchers studied the effectiveness of 16 plants growing in the country's Kwa-Zulu Natal region and concluded that eight plant extracts in May have value for treating high blood pressure (hypertension).
Background and Methodology
Hypertension is treated with medicines, including drugs such as angiotensin, inhibitors of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and blockers of angiotensin II (ARA). These drugs not only lower blood pressure but offer additional protection for the brain and heart. ACEI, in particular, beneficial for patients with type 1 diabetes.
In an effort to identify the plants consumed by the local population in Kwa-Zulu Natal, which have the potential anti-properties, the researchers examined 16 plants to identify ACE inhibitor activity. The plants were:
Amaranthus dubius, a flowering plant also known as spleen amaranth
Amaranthus hybridus, commonly known as "good pigweed or slim amaranth
Amaranthus spinosus, also known as spiny amaranth
Asystasia gangetica, a room, ground cover Chinese known as the purple. Also used in Nigerian traditional medicine for the management of asthma.
Centella asiatica, a small herbaceous annual plant commonly known as Asiatic pennywort
Ceratotheca triloba, a large annual plant that flowers in summer, sometimes referred to poppy
Chenopodium album, also called the neighborhood of the lamb, this weed is an annual plant
EMEX australis, commonly known as southern three corner jack
Galinsoga parviflora, commonly referred to brave soldier
Justicia flava, also known as yellow justicia and taken for treatment of cough and fever
Momordica balsamina, an African traditional medicine herbal also known as the balsam apple
Oxygonum sinuatum, an invasive weed with no name
Physalis viscosa, known as ground cherry starhair
Senna occidentalis, a leafy tropical shrub whose seeds have been used in coffee, and called septic weed
Solanum nodiflorum, also known as white nightshade
Tulbaghia violacea, a bulbous plant with hairless leaves often described as society or wild garlic
Dried leaves of the plant and soil were used to prepare extracts and organic acqueous. Ten grams of ground plant material was suspended in either methanol or distilled water solution for 48 hours. Each solution was filtered and the filtrate was left to dry in the air resulting from the testing of specific compounds. ACE was determined using a method flourimetric Hip-His-Leu as substrate. The fluorescence of the o-phthaldialdehyde was measured to determine the effect of the plant on ACE activity.
Plasma ACE was determined using the plasma in rats. The IC50 of the conventional ACEI, captopril was determined to test the sensitivity of the assay. At least three determinations were made for each test. Only one test was tannin on plant extracts which exhibits more than 50 percent of ACE inhibition in the initial analysis. The data was subjected to GraphPad INSTAT (GraphPad Software Inc, San Diego, CA, USA). All values are expressed as mean ¡À SEM. A probability p <0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Eight of the sixteen plants showed CIRA
Eight of the 16 showed inhibition of ACE activity. The plants were then tested for gelatin salt block for tannins to eliminate any false positive results. None of the plants tested positive for tannins, and thus eliminate any false positive results.
Ultimately, the eight major manufacturing plants found that ACEI activity in both extract forms were: Amaranthus dubius, Amaranthus hybridus, Asystasia gangetica, Galinsoga parviflora, Justicia flava, Oxygonum sinuatum, Physalis viscosa, and Tulbaghia violacea.
The Stand Out "Wild Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea) Plant
One plant - Tulbaghia violacea - showed more than 50 per cent of inhibition in both extract preparations. These results are consistent with those of another group (1999). Further tests revealed that the plant has promising hypotensive affects. The plant is commonly associated with onions and garlic and highly concentrated in southern Africa. It is better known as "wild garlic."
Researchers have recorded (1962) that the plant was beaten in the formulations and used by South Africans to relieve stomach aches, rheumatism and fevers. Other researchers found (1966), that South Africans rubbed the leaves of the plant on the head for sinus and headache infusions of plants used for colic and restlessness in young children. The most direct discovery is the 1993 finding that large doses of popular garlic preparations significantly decreased the diastolic blood pressure in humans 5-14 hours after the dose, without significant side effects. In addition, wild and cultivated garlic preparations were shown to decrease systolic blood pressure in rats.
In this study Tulbaghia violacea has shown properties related to lower blood pressure. As the number of hypertensive individuals in the world is rising, it is useful to study this extract. Yesterday's Remedies May a days what the 21st century doctor orders.
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