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Scientists corroborate usefulness of Cam wood dye in skin conditions
THE prevalence of disease-causing germs that are resistant to modern antibiotics has been predominant in the past years. This has led to the search for new sources of antibiotics which is of immense concern to medical practitioners.
Several researchers have considered the importance of medicinal plants as reservoir of medicines from plants. These plants contain substances that can be used for therapeutic purposes. They are natural products, environmentally friendly, easily available, cheap, safer, curative and have antimicrobial properties.
Plants have been used in traditional medicine for several years and more than 80 per cent of the world’s populace still depends on traditional medicine for their health care needs. Conversely, plants known for treating ailments are screened for their antimicrobial properties. Antibiotic susceptibility is used to determine the efficacy of these plants for use as antibiotics. Under laboratory conditions, efficacy testing of antimicrobial agents depends on the type of organism and its source.
In Nigeria, the use of natural products for treatment cannot be overlooked due to the large number of the country’s population and the inadequacy of our health care system. A large number of these medicinal plants are used in the treatment and cure of diseases caused by micro-organisms.
Investigations of folk medicine have resulted in the discovery of the potential applications of medicinal plants like Baphia nitida. Camwood dye is a red paste obtained from Baphia nitida, a wide spread forest plant which is commonly distributed globally especially within the coastal region of West Africa. Cam wood dye is commonly referred to as Osun in Yoruba, Majigi in Hausa, Ekui in Cross Rivers State and Uhie in Igbo.
Baphia nitida has many medicinal uses. It is applied against ringworm, stiff joints, sprains and rheumatic pains. It can equally be used for treating constipation, skin and venereal diseases.
Moreover, in a new study that looked at the germ-killing (antibacterial property) of camwood extracts, experts found that it has ability to kill some disease-causing germs at high concentrations.
In the study, the researchers tested the antimicrobial activity of four aqueous extracts of camwood dyes obtained from different locations in Nigeria against five disease causing germs obtained from inpatients attending the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. The isolates were Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Bacillus cereus, Proteus vulgaris and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
The study published in the March edition of the African Journal of Biotechnology was entitled “Antimicrobial activity of camwood (Baphia nitida) dyes on common human pathogens”. It was done by O. K. Agwa, C. I. Uzoigwe and A. O. Mbaegbu, all from the Department of Microbiology, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The results show that the dyes exerted greater inhibitory activity against the Gram positive organism. Among all the dyes sampled, Ekui dye exerted the greatest inhibitory activity, followed by Majigi dye and the least were Uhie and Osun dyes respectively, meaning that Majigi dye was the best antibiotic candidate.
They wrote: “All the camwood dyes used in this study exhibited a level of antibacterial activity and the dyes act differently on different microorganisms.
The difference in sensitivity can be due to the different growth rate of microorganisms, size, temperature, innoculum and the test method adopted.
The results show that the dye possesses some level of antimicrobial activity and can be used as a remedy for pathogenic infections.
“This is of great significance in the health care delivery system as the dyes can be used as an alternative to medicine in the treatment of infectious diseases, thus reducing the cost of the drugs to the affected individuals. Most of these dyes are used to cure infectious diseases relating to the skin, urinary tract, enteritis and other gastrointestinal problems which the test isolates are associated with.
Previous studies on the antimicrobial properties of formulated creams and ointments containing camwood extract showed that it was useful for the treatment of variety of skin infections.
B. nitida extracts is incorporated in some cream and ointment base in order to present the medicinal plant in an elegant and pharmaceutically acceptable dosage form. These formulated products were evaluated for their antimicrobial activities and their performances were compared with those of standard antiseptic creams and ointments.
The 2005 study, which was published in the Journal of Pharmacy & Bioresources found out that mode of preparation of these camwood extract formulation indeed affected the antimicrobial effectiveness of the formulation. The topical bases were better mediums than the cream and ointment formulations.
Formulations prepared with Aqueous cream BP exhibited greater antimicrobial activity than the formulation with anionic cream base.Share