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Creation and applicability of AAMPS [Association for African Medicinal Plant Standards]. Kobus Eloff Phytomedicine Programme, University of Pretoria, EU-CDE/EU-CTA and Ben-Erik van Wyk, Ameenah Gurib-Fakeem, Thomas Brendler, Denzil Phillips. Background.

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Creation and applicability of aamps association for african medicinal plant standards

Creation and applicability of AAMPS [Association for African Medicinal Plant Standards]

Kobus Eloff

Phytomedicine Programme, University of Pretoria, EU-CDE/EU-CTA


Ben-Erik van Wyk, Ameenah Gurib-Fakeem, Thomas Brendler, Denzil Phillips

Malaria Nairobi 2006

Background Medicinal Plant Standards]

  • Sub-Saharan Africa contains c 60 000 plant species, roughly 1/4 of world’s species

  • Trade of African medicinal plants in Europe very low compared to species from India and China

  • Probably because no trading standards available

  • EU-Centre for the Development of Enterprise provided funding to develop trade standards in order to create jobs in Africa

  • Invited 9 leaders in African medicinal plant research to tender for project

Malaria Nairobi 2006

Contract with cde
Contract with CDE Medicinal Plant Standards]

  • Consortium JN Eloff, B-E van Wyk, GE Swan, R van Brummelen

  • Get co-operation from scientists from rest of Africa and from leading role players Europe

  • Identify most important African Medicinal Plants

  • Subcontract scientists to write profiles

  • Establish executive committee to oversee project Ben-Erik van Wyk, Ameenah Gurib-Fakeem, Thomas Brendler, Denzil Phillips

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Selection of priority species
Selection of priority species Medicinal Plant Standards]

  • List of more than 500 species selected from lists of Herbal Products Association, Iwu, Brendler and publications by van Wyk, Iwu, Oliver-Bever, Hutchings, Gurib-Fakeem.

  • Parameters used for selection: safety, efficacy, already widely used or good potential, possibility of cultivation, sustainable use, not threatened, different areas of Africa, not used as a narcotic.

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22 species selected round 1
22 species selected round 1 Medicinal Plant Standards]

  • Agathosmabetulina A

  • AloeferoxSA

  • AntidesmamadagascariensisEA

  • AphloiatheiformisEA

  • AspalathuslinearisSA

  • BalanitesaegypticaWA

  • BoswelliasacraNA

  • ColanitidaWA

  • CyclopiagenistoidesSA

  • DanaisfragransEA

  • HarpagophytumprocumbensSA

Malaria Nairobi 2006

23 species selected round 1 continued
23 species selected round 1 continued Medicinal Plant Standards]

  • HarunganamadagascariensisEA

  • HypoxishemerocallideaSA

  • KigeliaafricanaEA

  • MoringaoleiferaWA

  • PelargoniumsidoidesSA

  • PrunusafricanaEA

  • SceletiumtortuosumSA

  • SiphonochilusaethiopicusSA

  • SutherlandiafrutescensSA

  • WarburgiasalutarisSA

  • XysmalobiumundulatumSA

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Validation and selection of rest
Validation and selection of rest Medicinal Plant Standards]

  • Additional funding received [CTA] workshop c 30 scientists, producers, exporters/importers from 17 countries

  • To evaluate profiles developed

  • Select another c 27 species with the highest priorities from list of c 73

  • Advise on further work

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Outcome of workshop
Outcome of workshop Medicinal Plant Standards]

  • review and refine AMPS methodology

  • critically review the first 22 profiles prepared by the AMPS team

  • select a further 28 species for phase two of the AMPS project

  • select appropriate forms of international validation

  • recommend appropriate methods of dissemination

  • learn more about related research activities in Africa

  • develop long term linkages between workshop delegates

  • consider if AMPS can lead to an African Herbal Pharmacopoeia

  • started Association for African Medicinal Plant Standards

Malaria Nairobi 2006

Living database
Living database Medicinal Plant Standards]

  • Information will be presented on website with open access

  • Additional information evaluated & added

  • Closer cooperation academia industry

  • Will identify gaps---research projects

  • Will provide standards and lead to larger share of market for African species

  • Provide more jobs, improve primary health care.

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Managing project
Managing Project Medicinal Plant Standards]

Executive Committee

  • Mr Denzil Phillips, Consultant CDE/CTA

  • Prof J N Eloff, University Pretoria

  • Prof A Gurib Fakeem, University Mauritius

  • Mr T Brendler, Germany

  • Prof B-E van Wyk, University Johannesburg

Malaria Nairobi 2006

Profiles description general aspects example siphonochiles aethiopicum
Profiles description Medicinal Plant Standards]General aspectsExample Siphonochiles aethiopicum

  • 1. General description

  • Botanical name:

  • Siphonochilus aethiopicus (Schweinf.) B.L.Burtt

  • Main synonyms: Siphonochilus natalensis (Schltr. & K. Schum.) J.M. Wood & Franks

  • Family: Zingiberaceae

  • Vernacular names: African ginger, wild ginger (English); isiphephetho, indungulo (Zulu); gingembre Africaine (French); Afrikanischer Ingwer (German); zenzero Africano (Italian)

  • Geographical distribution: Widely distributed in tropical Africa, from South Africa (Limpopo Province) northwards to Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, West Africa and Gambia.

  • Conservation status: Said to be rare or extinct in KwaZulu-Natal and other parts of South Africa. Conservation status in other countries is not clear.]

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Photographs b e van wyk
Photographs B-E van Wyk Medicinal Plant Standards]

Plant with flowers

Rhizome and roots

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Origin and preparation of plant material
Origin and preparation of plant material Medicinal Plant Standards]

  • Origin: South Africa

  • Plant parts used: Rhizomes and fleshy roots.

  • Cultivated/wildcrafted: Product is available from commercial plantations and rapid scale-up is possible. No wildcrafting should be allowed.

  • Preparation/processing: The rhizomes and roots and simply sliced and dried.

  • Flowering/harvesting time:

  • Rhizomes and roots are harvested at the end of the growing season when the plants start to go dormant.

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Identification and quality control
Identification and Quality Control Medicinal Plant Standards]

See introduction for methods used.

  • Plant material investigated:

  • dried, and powdered rhizome and roots

  • Extractability of dried material in mg/ml from 1 g of plant material

  • Water 68

  • Ethanol 26

  • Acetone 17

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Identification Medicinal Plant Standards]

TLC fingerprints western herbal medicines

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Fingerprint siphonochilis
Fingerprint Siphonochilis Medicinal Plant Standards]

  • Solvent systems from left to right EMW, CEF, BEA. This separates polar compounds, intermediate polarity compounds and non-polar compounds

  • Detection reagent vanillin-sulphuric acid.

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Infra red scan of powder
Infra red scan of powder Medicinal Plant Standards]

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Specialized tlc or hplc if available
Specialized TLC or HPLC if available Medicinal Plant Standards]

Standards methods of TLC can be used (similar to those for commercial ginger, Zingiber officinalis – see Van Beeck 1991). The essential oil fraction, containing the main furanoterpenoid, can be studied by GC using a published method (Viljoen et al. 2002).

Malaria Nairobi 2006

Concentration active principle if known
Concentration active principle if known Medicinal Plant Standards]

  • The essential oil contains very high concentrations (up to 0.2% of dry weight) of a single compound loosely referred to as Siphonochilus sesquiterpenoid or siphonochilone (Van Wyk et al. 1997, Holtzapfel et al. 2002, Viljoen et al. 2002). It is not clear if this compound is the active principle but it is a useful and unique marker substance for quality control.

Malaria Nairobi 2006

Possible adulteration and mistaken identity
Possible adulteration and mistaken identity Medicinal Plant Standards]

  • Rare (unlikely). It may possibly be confused or adulterated with other members of the Zingiberaceae such as Zingiber or Hedychium but the difference is easily detected by TLC.

Malaria Nairobi 2006

Standard specifications applied to most herbal medicines
Standard specifications applied to most herbal medicines Medicinal Plant Standards]

  • e.g. pesticide content, microbial load, ash and heavy metal content

  • Acid-insoluble ash: Not more than 1%

  • Water-soluble extractive: Not less than 15%

  • Foreign matter: Not more than 1%

  • Pesticide residues: national requirements

Malaria Nairobi 2006

Stability of product
Stability of product Medicinal Plant Standards]

  • Unstable in solution. Possibly stable in dry form. Stafford et al. (2005) reported that the antibacterial activity remained more or less unchanged while antiinflammatory activity decreased over time.

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Formulation and dosage chemical constituents according to literature
Formulation and dosage/Chemical constituents according to literature

  • About 200 mg of dry rhizome is taken three or more times per day. In traditional medicine, a small piece of the fresh rhizome is chewed.

  • The product is rich in essential oil (0.1-0.3% of fresh weight) and contains more than 70 monoterpenoids and sesquiterpenoids, including 1,8-cineole, cis-alloocimene, alpha-terpineol and germacrene B (to name only a few) (Viljoen et al. 2002). The main furanoterpenoid, siphonochilone, was reported to represent at least 20% of total composition of the oil (Van Wyk et al. 1997, Holzapfel et al. 2002, Viljoen et al. 2002).

Malaria Nairobi 2006

Medicinal uses traditional uses and uses described in pharmacopoeias
Medicinal uses [traditional uses and uses described in pharmacopoeias]

  • Fresh roots or rhizomes are chewed for coughs, colds and asthma.

  • Tablets made from dried rhizomes or extracts are highly effective against tension headache, and also against influenza, sore throat, mild asthma, sinusitis, PMS and menstrual cramps.

  • The main traditional uses in the Zulu culture were against malaria and Candida (Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk 1962, Cunningham 1988,

  • Hutchings A et al. 1996, Van Wyk et al. 1997, Van Wyk & Gericke 2000, Crouch et al. 2000, Van Wyk & Wink 2004)

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Known biological activities pharmacological information
Known biological activities [pharmacological information] pharmacopoeias]

  • In vitro anti-inflammatory and uterine relaxing activities were reported (McGaw et

  • al. 1997, Lindsay et al. 1999, Light et al. 2002). Extracts showed antibacterial

  • activity, especially against Gram-positive bacteria, but no anti-viral effects (Light

  • et al. 2002).

Malaria Nairobi 2006

Toxicity pharmacopoeias]

  • Literature No information

  • Brine shrimp toxicity assay LD50 => 2000μg/ml.

  • Vero cell line LD50 0.409 μg/ml

    Warnings, contraindications and side effects and interactions with other drugs

  • None known. As a precaution, pregnancy and lactation are contraindicated but no published information exists.

Malaria Nairobi 2006

Evaluation probable safety
Evaluation probable safety pharmacopoeias]

  • criteria based on Goldberg et al. Botanical Safety Handbook

    • 1 Can be safely consumed when used appropriately.

    • 2b Not to be used during pregnancy.[?]

    • 2c Not to be used while nursing.[?]

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Probable efficacy scale used
Probable efficacy scale used pharmacopoeias]

  • ++! efficacy clinically proven, plant material with toxic potential

  • + efficacy pharmacologically proven

  • +! efficacy pharmacologically proven, plant material with toxic potential

  • +/- efficacy traditionally proven

  • +/-! efficacy traditionally proven, plant material with toxic potential

  • - usage cannot be recommended because of risks related

  • ? insufficient information for classification

Malaria Nairobi 2006

Evaluaion probably efficacy
Evaluaion probably efficacy pharmacopoeias]

  • Anti-inflammatory + (McGaw et al. 1997, Light et al. 2002)

  • Anti-bacterial + (Light et al. 2002).

  • Uterine relaxing effects + (Lindsay et al. 1999)

  • Coughs, colds +/-

  • Tension headaches +/-

  • Influenza +/-

  • Sore throat +/-

  • Mild asthma +/-

  • Sinusitis +/-

  • PMS, menstrual cramps +/-

  • Malaria +/-

  • Candida +/-

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Editorial committee
Editorial Committee pharmacopoeias]

  • Prof Arnold Vlietinck, Belgium

  • Prof P Houghton, UK

  • Members of Executive Committee

Malaria Nairobi 2006

AAMPS pharmacopoeias]

  • Two delegates Ulrich Feiter and Tom Watson volunteered c €5000 to start AAMPS.

  • AAMPS registered in Mauritius. The Centurion Lake declaration and a press release was advertised widely and the information is available on two websites and

  • Published in the quarterly newsletter of WHO

  • Constitution written

  • Interim directors Prof Kobus Eloff [South Africa], Prof. Ameenah Gurib-Fakeem [Mauritius], Prof Ermias Dagne [Ethiopia], Prof Ben-Erik van Wijk, [South Africa] Thomas Brendler,

  • Main aim develop African Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Malaria Nairobi 2006

Conclusion pharmacopoeias]

  • This project has the potential of stimulating interest in African medicinal plants.

  • Closer liaison between African Scientist and other role players, win-win situation

  • Proper validation and evaluation critical for wide acceptance and success of this project

  • Continued upgrading and correction of information is one of major strengths of this approach

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Thanks to sponsors participants
Thanks to sponsors, participants pharmacopoeias]

Malaria Nairobi 2006