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Borassus aethiopum, A Potential Medicinal Source of Antioxidants, Anti-Inflammatory and Antimicrobial Agents

Background: Borassus aethiopum Mart (Family Arecaceae), commonly known as the African Fan Palm, is a tropical plant species found widely across Africa, and used globally for both medicinal and non-medicinal purposes. In this study, the anti-oxidant, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory activities of an ethanolic extract of the fruit of Borassus aethiopum was investigated.

Methods: The Carrageenan induced foot edema model in chicks was used to investigate the anti-inflammatory activity of an ethanolic extract of the seed endocarp cotyledon. For the anti-oxidant activity determination, three assays were employed; namely, the total anti-oxidant capacity assay, the 2, 2-diphenyl- 1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging assay and the Folin-Ciocalteau’s assay for total phenols. For the anti-microbial activity, the agar diffusion method was used. Phytochemical analysis to determine the types of secondary metabolites present was also conducted on the plant extract.

Results: The phytochemical screening showed the presence of alkaloid, tannins, saponins, steroids, carbohydrates triterpenoids and phenols. A dose dependent reduction in edema was observed when the extract was compared with Diclofenac and Dexamethasone. The extract had an EC50 of 13.49 µg/ml DPPH scavenging activity, which is excellent when compared to the reference ascorbic acid of 140.00 µg/ml. Thus the extract was about 10 times more potent than the ascorbic acid.

Conclusion: The anti-microbial assay revealed activity against the gram positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis. The results obtained showed that Borassus aethiopum has anti-inflammatory and significant anti-oxidant properties, which are dose and concentration dependent respectively.


Joseph Sarkodie, Sylvia Squire, Irene Kretchy,Emelia Bekoe,Charles Domozoro, Kurukulasuriya Ahiagbe, Emmanuella Adjei, Dominic Edoh, Isaac Amponsah, Maxwell Sakyiama, Vida Lamptey, Seigfried Affedzi-Obresi, John Duncan, Philip Debrah, Benoit Nguessan, Alexander Nyarko k

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