- ‘ Cases of rape rise to 84% in Nigeria’
- Dana air crash update: 23 aircrash victims’ families yet to receive compensation
- Mimiko inaugurates new Mother & Child hospital today
- N4.56b pension scam: Female accused hospitalised,trial stalled
- Construction workers hail FG’s decision on Lagos-Ibadan expressway
- Senate adjourns plenary for 1 week, dissolves to Appropriation committee.
- Blackout looms as Egbin power plant breaks down
- FMBN, NEXIM, BOA, IB lose N47bn in 6 months - CBN
- FirstBank wins Nigerian Bank of the Year award
- PDP tackles ACN over Tukur’s comments
- Electricity workers threaten strike over Wamakko
- ‘NDIC prosecuted 55 directors, staff of micro finance banks in 2011’
- Judgment in Oni’s appeal stalled, re-fixed for Jan 8
- Slain banker: Deceased had only 3 wounds -Accused’s father
- Appointments: S/West not marginalised —FCC
Scientists confirm efficacy of commonly used skin infection remedies in Ibadan
As a barrier to infection, the skin is crucial; however, if its defences are disrupted, a variety of microorganisms can cause disease. It has been suggested that globally, skin infection is responsible for more discomfort and illness than any other disease.
Normal skin has a resident flora of microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts and mites. These are found on the surface and deep in pores and ducts of sweat and sebaceous glands. The numbers of bacteria vary from a few hundred per square centimetres on the forearm and back, to tens of thousands in the moist areas of the arm pit, feet and groin.
Different skin areas play host to different flora, being largely determined by local humidity; exposed dry areas have fewer flora compared with moister areas. Staphylococci and streptococci are common causes of skin infections such as boils, pustules, carbuncles and post operative wound infections. It is possible for the same organism to cause different infections in different layers of the skin and soft tissue.
The World Health Organization’s 2001 report on global burden of disease indicated that skin infections were associated with mortality rates of 20,000 in sub-Saharan Africa in 2001. This burden was comparable to mortality rate attributed to meningitis, hepatitis B, obstructed labour and rheumatic heart disease in the same region.
The main skin conditions at community level include scabies, eczema or dermatitis, HIV- related skin disease, pigmentary anomalies and acne. In specific population groups such as street-children, prevalence of skin infections in child workers in Nigeria was found to be as high as 12 per cent. In refugee camp in Sierra Leone, scabies occurred in 77 and 86 per cent of children.
In south-western Nigeria, researchers, through a survey, have confirmed that several herbs are commonly used in the treatment of skin infections. These are Afzelia Africana (African mahogany Tree), Alstonia boonei (Stool wood Tree Leaf), Azadirachta indica (neem), Ficus exasperata (Sand paper tree), Senna alata (Ringworm shrub), Tetrapleura tetraptera and Xylopia aethiopica (Ethiopian pepper Tree). The plants were used singly or combined in crude drug formulation.
Afzelia Africana is called ayan in yoruba and “akparata” in the Igbo. Alstonia boonei is known as Ahun in Yoruba, Egbu-ora in Igbo, Ukhu in Edo and Ukpukunu in Urhobo. Ficus exasperata is called inwalinwa (in Igbo and “Eepin” in Yoruba. Senna Alata (Asunwon oyinbo in Yoruba or Ogalu in Igbo. Azadirachta indica is dongoyaro in Yoruba. Tetrapleura tetraptera (also known as Osakirisa or Oshosho [Igbo], Aidan [Yoruba], Prekese [Twi, Ghana]). (Xylopia aethiopicain is known as Ethopian pepper, African pepper or Guinea pepper.
The study investigated the indigenous treatment of skin infections and examined the efficacy of methanol extracts of these herbs in the treatment of skin infections caused by three germs, namely C. albicans, S. aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes.
The survey, which was entitled “The efficacy of seven ethnobotanicals in the treatment of skin infections in Ibadan, Nigeria” was done by Gbadamosi, I. T. and Oyedele, T. O., both from the Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State. It was published in the 2012 edition of the African Journal of Biotechnology.
In the survey, 50 respondents comprising herb-sellers and herbalists were informally interviewed in three local markets in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. The markets visited Bode, Oje and Oja-Oba. The respondents, who were mostly females, were questioned on their knowledge of management and treatment of skin infections. Recipes were documented. The local name, parts of plants used, method of preparation and mode of administration were also recorded.
Following the testing of the methanol extracts of these herbs on germs that cause skin infections, they wrote; “The significant antimicrobial activities exhibited by the methanol extracts of the ethnobotanicals confirmed their therapeutic potentials in the treatment of skin infections.”
They wrote: “The significant antimicrobial activities of A. africana, A. boonei, A. indica, F. exasperata, S. alata, T. Tetraptera and X. aethiopica against skin pathogens have justified their ethnotherapeutic use in the treatment of skin infections, contributed to the importance of traditional knowledge of management and treatment of skin infections.”
Given their findings, they suggested also that soap, cream and ointment could be prepared from these herbs for topical application in the treatment of skin infections.
Although, the plants may be good alternatives to expensive orthodox medicines, they stated that the toxicity tests of their active constituents would ascertain their safety in administration.
Moreover, the researcher’s documentation of the method of preparation and mode of administration indicated that Xylopia aethiopica fruit is ground into coarse powder and soaked in warm palm oil. The oil is applied to the affected part of the skin. Alstonia boonei leaves or bark is boiled in water with small quantity of Xylopia aethiopica fruit. 200ml of the herbal preparation is taken after food twice daily.
In addition, an herbal recipe for the treatment of skin infections was made from Senna alata leaves, Tetrapleura tetraptera fruits and Xylopia aethiopica fruits. These were made into a powder. The herbal powder is mixed with native soap and used for bathing twice daily.
A skin ointment could be made from leaves of Ficus exasperata and Azadirachta indica. These will be soaked in coconut oil for 2 weeks and then allowed to boil for 15 min. The cooled oil is added to shea-butter. The herbal preparation is applied to the affected part of the skin twice daily.
For skin infections, a decoction can be made from Azadirachta indica leaves and Tetrapleura tetraptera fruits. These are boiled in water for 15 minutes. 200ml of the herbal preparation is taken after food twice daily.
Similarly, the partici-pants interviewed stated that Xylopia aethiopica fruit and bark of Khaya ivorensis could be boiled in water for 15 minutes. After-wards, 200ml of the herbal preparation is taken after food twice daily.
However, half a teaspoon of the powder bark of Afzelia africana bark can be taken in pap once daily after food.Share
written by OH, August 03, 2012