Ethnobotanical Survey and Antiplasmodial Screening of Commonly used Plants in the Treatment of Malaria in Ilorin Metroplis

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Society for the Conservation of Phytofuels and Sciences


The development of resistance to currently known conventional antimalarial drugs has necessitated the search for more potent and less toxic antimalarial agents of plant origin. This study aims to document plants commonly used to treat malaria in the Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State, Nigeria, and also validate the antiplasmodial activity of ten commonly used plants. Basic information was collected by interviewing indigenous people, using a semi-structured mode of interview. Collected plant samples were identified and authenticated at the Department of Plant Biology Herbarium, University of Ilorin. The antiplasmodium potential of aqueous extracts of ten commonly used plants at 200mg/kg body weight against Plasmodium berghei NK 65 chloroquine-sensitive strain in mice was also evaluated. A total of forty-three species belonging to 28 plant families were recorded as antimalarial plants in the study area. Cymbopogon citrates (17.1%), Azadirachta indica (12.9%), Prosopis africana (12.9%), Vernonia amygdalina (11.4%), Khaya senagalesis (10%), Terminalia glaucescens (10%), Zingiber officinale (7.1%), Citrus grandis (7.1%), Parquetina nigrescens (7.1%) and Psidium guajava (7.1%) were the 10 most and frequently used for the treatment of malaria. The families of Rubiaceae and Asteraceae were the most represented species used as antimalarial. The leaves were the most common plant part used in the preparation of herbal remedies. The aqueous extracts of all the most commonly used plants showed significant (p< 0.05) parasite inhibition at 200 mg/kg body weight. The antiplasmodial activities also correlated well with the activity of the standard drug (chloroquine). Prosopis africana extract demonstrated a higher parasite inhibition effect (90.02%) and a mean survival time of 23 days when compared with the standard (chloroquine, 60.70%) on day 8. This study provides plant species and validates the folklore usage of the plants for the treatment of malaria in the Ilorin metropolis which revealed a potential source of antimalarial agents in antimalarial drug production. Keywords: Ethnobotanical survey, Ilorin metropolis, Plasmodium berghei, antiplasmodium screening, malaria.