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Acanthospermum hispidum DC
Essential oils (sesquiterpenes, aliphatic aldehydes and aromatic compounds); alkaloids; diterpenes; sugars (Fleischer et al 2003; Cartagena et al 2000; Nair et al 1976)
The crude ethanolic extracts of the leaves and flowering tops of A. hispidum showed various degrees of antibacterial activity particularly against Gram-positive organisms (Fleischer et al 2003). A significant antimalarial activity has been observed with alkaloid extract of A. hispidum (Sanon et al 2003). Aqueous extract of the leaves of A. hispidum exhibited antiviral activity by interaction with α-herpes virus particles resulting in inhibition of attachment to and penetration into target cells (Summerfield et al 1997). The immunostimulatory capacity of A. hispidum was studied in vitro. The plant was shown to enhance the proliferation of T lymphocytes. The virus-specific MHC class II restricted in vitro immune response against pseudorabies virus (PRV) was also enhanced in a co-stimulating manner (Summerfield and Saalmüller 1998). In an attempt to evaluate the abortifacient/or teratogenic effect of extracts of A. hispidum and Cajanus cajan, used in Brazil to cause, female Wistar rats were treated with the aqueous extract (infusion, proportion C. cajan and A. hispidum 1:1.3). There was no significant change in the mean weight of the fetuses, and no change in the percentage of post implantation loss in the treated groups. There was, however, an increase in the number of external malformations in a dose-related manner. No internal malformations were observed in fetuses at term, but there was a significant incidence of fetuses with visceral anomalies (Lemonica and Alvarenga 1994).
Traditional system/folk medicine
As an anthelmintic; abortifacient; diuretic, febrifuge, sudorific; for the treatment of boils; hypertension; gonorrhea ((Fleischer et al 2003; Menut et al 1995; Lemonica and Alvarenga 1994; Uphof 1968; Morton 1981).
Uses as described in pharmacopoeia
Uses supported by experimental or clinical data
Immunostimulant; antimalarial; antiviral; teratogenic
Precautions and toxicology
Seeds of A. hispidum have toxic effects characterized by haemorrhage, weakness and diarrhoea (Ali and Adam 1978). Poisoning in goats manifested as jaundice, diarrhoea, weakness of the hind limbs and debility (Ali and Adam 1978).
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