The prospects of finding an effective treatment for malaria amongst the many herbal preparations used by traditional healers have been discussed in an article in Nigerian Tribune.
The article focuses on research at the University of Ibadan, first announced three years ago, in which 164 plants were found to be used by healers in malaria treatment in Nigeria’s Middle Belt alone. Twelve of these were particularly commonly used, and one of them, Enatia chlorantha, was studied further by the researchers. They found it to be active against malaria in mice, but mice that received it regularly died. Determining an appropriate dose rate would therefore be essential before human trials could be conducted.
As healers in other parts of Africa use a different range of herbal preparations for malaria, there certainly remains much work to be done to screen all these preparations both for effectiveness and for safety.