This section reviews the current literature on medicinal plants including extracts, fractions, isolated compounds and natural products that have been demonstrated to have wound healing properties. Various electronic databases such as PubMed, Science Direct, SciFinder and Google Scholar were employed to search for plants, natural plant constituents and natural products that have been scientifically demonstrated to have wound healing activity using in vivo and in vitro wound models. Parameters used in the evaluation of an agent with wound healing properties include rate of wound contraction, tensile strength, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, hydroxyproline content assay and histological investigations including re-epithelization, collagen synthesis, granulation, proliferation and differentiation of fibroblasts and keratinocytes in excision and incision wound model studies. Eighty-five medicinal plants belonging to 45 families, phytoconstituents including phenolics, oils and other substances including honey were identified as potential wound healing agents or possess wound healing properties using various wound healing models.
Part of the book: Wound Healing
Plant-derived compounds have been an integral component in man’s quest to discover ideal anticancer agents. A number of new agents are currently in clinical development with promising selective activity against cancer cell lines and cancer-related molecular targets. This book chapter discusses 14 of such compounds isolated from African plants from 15 plant families. Also contained in this book chapter are compounds from African plants that hold prospect as potential anticancer agents as informed by their in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies. It is, therefore, worthwhile that researchers in the African continent and the world over should keep on working on identifying biomolecules with potential in cancer management.
Part of the book: Natural Products and Cancer Drug Discovery
This chapter focuses on reviewing publications on medicinal plants used in the treatment of common diseases such as malaria, cholera, pneumonia, tuberculosis and asthma. Traditional medicine is still recognized as the preferred primary health care system in many rural communities, due to a number of reasons including affordability and effectiveness. The review concentrated on current literature on medicinal plants, highlighting on information about ethnobotany, phytochemistry and pharmacology. The search for publications on medicinal plants with scientifically proven efficacy was carried out using electronic databases such as Science Direct, Google Scholar, SciFinder and PubMed. In all, about 46 species of different families with potent biological and pharmacological activities were reviewed. All the plants reviewed exhibited potent activity confirming their various traditional uses and their ability to treat prevalent diseases.
Part of the book: Pharmacognosy
Biofilms are structured aggregates of bacterial cells that are embedded in self-produced extracellular polymeric substances. Various pathogens initiate a disease process by creating organized biofilms that enhance their ability to adhere, replicate to accumulate, and express their virulence potential. Quorum sensing, which refers to the bacterial cell-to-cell communication resulting from production and response to N-acyl homoserine lactone signal molecules, also plays an important role in virulence and biofilm formation. Attenuation of microorganisms’ virulence such that they fail to adapt to the hosts’ environment could be a new strategic fight against pathogens. Thus, agents or products that possess anti-biofilm formation and/or anti-quorum sensing activities could go a long way to manage microbial infections. The incidence of microbial resistance can be reduced by the use of anti-biofilm formation and anti-quorum sensing agents.
Part of the book: Bacterial Biofilms