Ruta chalepensis has been used in the Eastern Africa for management of malaria despite lack of scientific evaluations. This study was carried out to evaluate the in vivo antiplasmodial activity of the 80% methanol extract of the leaves of the plant. The screening was done using Swiss albino mice against chloroquine sensitive rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei, following the standard 4-day suppressive test procedure. Three extract doses (100,200 and 400 mg/kg/day) were given orally. Parasitemia level, survival time as well as weight variation were measured for evaluating antiplasmodial efficacy. Moreover, preliminary phytochemical and acute toxicity studies were carried out.The presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, polyphenols, terpenoids, cardiac glycosides as well as saponins was confirmed. The oral LD50 was determined to be higher than 2000mg/kg. Antiplamodial activity of the extract was inversely related with the dose so that the100mg/kg dose was the most effective (mean parasitemia of 29.92 +0.94 on day 4, P<0.001). Ruta chalepensis therefore has antimalarial activity and no significant acute toxicity when taken orally. The study validates the traditional use of the plant in managing malaria. We suggest further investigation on this potential plant to address the call for a novel antimalarial drug.
Dessalegn Asmelashe, G., Abdelwuhab, M., & Asrie, A. B. (2017). In vivo antiplasmodial activity evaluation of the leaves of Ruta chalepensis L. (Rutaceae) against Plasmodium berghei. Discovery Phytomedicine - Journal of Natural Products Research and Ethnopharmacology, 4(1), 1–7. https://doi.org/10.15562/phytomedicine.2017.37