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Why this traditional Sudan medicine is used to treat a variety of diseases: extracts of Sarcocephalus latifolius


Extracts from the bark of Sarcocephalus latifolius were tested and proven to have potent antioxidant properties. A study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine examined if these extracts could be applied as a safe and effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions caused by oxidative stress.

  • Oxidative stress happens when the body produces more reactive oxygen species (ROS) than the cells can handle. It causes tissue and organ damage and leads to many kinds of diseases.
  • S. latifolius is a plant native to Africa that has been used in traditional medicine for a wide variety of health conditions. The researchers suspected that the plant contained antioxidants, phenols, and flavonols that gave it its healing properties.
  • They gathered plant extracts which they put through a series of tests. Antioxidant activity was tested through the extracts’ ability to scavenge the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical.
  • The researchers also tested for AChE inhibitory activity, its phenol and flavonol content, and its cytotoxicity.
  • The researchers found that the extracts were rich in antioxidants and phenolic compounds, most notable of which was vitamin E.
  • The extracts showed little anti-AChE activity but were found to contain caffeic acid that potently inhibits both AChE and BChE. The extracts were also non-toxic.

Based on their findings, the researchers concluded that S. latifolius could be safely used as an antioxidant material in the food industry, especially for its vitamin E, caffeic acid, and phenolic content.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

Journal Reference:

Osama A, Awadelkarim S, Ali A. ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY, ACETYLCHOLINESTERASE INHIBITORY POTENTIAL AND PHYTOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF SARCOCEPHALUS LATIFOLIUS SM. BARK USED IN TRADITIONAL MEDICINE IN SUDAN. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;17(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-1772-6



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