Planta Medica International Open 2017; 4(S 01): S1-S202
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1608565
Lecture Session – Ethnopharmacology
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Use of herbal medicine in the management of trypanosomiasis in Angola

N Vahekeni
1  Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
2  Nacional Center of Scientific Investigation (CNIC), Luanda, Angola
,
M Neto Pedro
3  3Centro de Estudos e Investigação Científica de Botânica, University of Agostinho Neto, Luanda, Angola
,
K Kayimbo Malilo
2  Nacional Center of Scientific Investigation (CNIC), Luanda, Angola
,
P van Eeuwijk
1  Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
7  Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
,
P Mäser
1  Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
,
G João Pedro
3  3Centro de Estudos e Investigação Científica de Botânica, University of Agostinho Neto, Luanda, Angola
4  Engineering Faculty of Agostinho Neto University, Luanda, Angola
,
J Théophile
5  Instituto de Combate e Controlo das Tripanossomíasses (ICCT), Luanda, Angola
,
E Wolfram
6  Zürich University of Applied Sciences (ZAHW), Phytopharmacy & Natural Products, Institute of Chemistry and Biotechnology, Wädenswil, Switzerland
,
E da Costa
3  3Centro de Estudos e Investigação Científica de Botânica, University of Agostinho Neto, Luanda, Angola
,
J Falquet
8  Community Health Association, Geneva, Switzerland
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
24 October 2017 (online)

 

More than 70 per cent of the Angolan population relies on herbal remedies to treat various ailments. Angola is endemic with Human African Trypanosomiasis, a parasitic disease [1]. Though current chemotherapy is available to treat trypanosomiasis, the treatment is long and adherent, which complicates its implementation in remote rural communities. It is supposed that rural population who lacks access to biomedical medication, turns to folk medicine to cure sleeping sickness and its symptoms. There is extensive literature on antitrypanosomal activity of traditionally-used African medicinal plants [2], but to our current knowledge, there has not yet been a study reporting the use of local herbal remedies to heal trypanosomiasis and its symptoms in Angola.

We explored the use of herbal remedies by conducting structured and semi-structured interviews within two distinct study populations. The first group comprises 30 patients who were biomedically diagnosed for trypanosomiasis and treated by reference treatment. The second group included 9 traditional practitioners who have already healed sleeping sickness.

Out of the patient group, first qualitative results show that almost half of the inquired lay people turns to folk medicine in the management of trypanosomiasis symptoms. From 30 patients, 12 use herbal remedies before visiting a biomedical doctor. Out of these 12, 3 reported improvement of health condition.

Out of 9 traditional practitioners interviewed, 31 medicinal plants were cited to heal sleeping sickness. Among them, Vitex madiensis was the most cited medicinal plant. Roots and leaves are the most used plant parts and decoction is the mostly cited mode of preparation. Though species identification is being finalized, the most represented family in species used to manage sleeping sickness is Fabaceae.

[1] Simarro, P.P, et al. Negl Trop Dis 2012, 6, e1859

[2] Ibrahim, M.A, et al. J Ethnopharmacology 2014, 154, 26 – 54