The in vitro evaluation of the efficacy of five plants traditionally used for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases
AbstractUp to 60% of South Africans consult traditional healers for treatment of diseases, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Medicinal plants play a major role in the treatment of STDs by traditional healers, but without any scientific support. During this study, five plants were chosen from literature due to their reputed use by traditional healers in the treatment of STDs. The plants were screened for anti-bacterial and anti-STD activity. The plants chosen were Clematis brachiata, Elephantorrhiza elephantina, Lepidium bonariense, Ranunculus multifidus and Typha capensis. The STD screening was conducted with Candida albicans, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Haemophilus ducreyi. Bacillus subtilus, Micrococcus luteus, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter sp., Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Aspergillus niger were also included for screening purposes. Only Lepidium bonariense possesses activity against all the organisms tested. It is thus clear that a need exists to determine the efficacy of medicinal plants and that the obtained information is communicated to the traditional healers.