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Abstract Detail

Economic Botany Section

Graziose, Rocky [1], Lategan, Carmen [2], Smith, Peter [2], Struwe, Lena [1], Raskin, Ilya [3].

Antimalarial Activity of Plants Used by the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.

Plants are an important source of novel antimalarial compounds. In this regard, species traditionally used as antimalarial remedies in disease-endemic regions receive much attention; however, little consideration is given to native species in areas where malaria has been eradicated. The aim of this study was to evaluate botanical remedies reportedly used to treat malaria by the Confederate Army during the American Civil War when malaria was a widespread concern in the USA, particularly the South.
Plant material from ten target species - Lindera benzoin (L.) Blume , Ilex verticillata (L.) A.Gray, Ilex opaca Aiton, Thuja occidentalis L., Castanea dentata (Marshall) Borkh., Magnolia acuminata (L.) L, Magnolia grandiflora L., Magnolia tripetala (L.) L., Chionanthus virginicus L., and Polygonum aviculare L. - was prepared by alcoholic (ethanol) extraction, in coordination with the traditional preparations of the time period. Extracts were submitted for in vitro antiplasmodial and cytotoxic evaluation. Our results indicate two species (M. tripetala and T. occidentalis) possess moderate antiplasmodial activity with IC50 values < 30μg/mL. Further investigation is required to determine what compounds may be responsible for this activity and if the army may have benefited from taking these remedies.

Broader Impacts:
This research will help preserve the ethnobotanical heritage of North American plants with historical importance as antimalarials. Furthermore, the scientific evaluation of the antimalarial characteristics of these traditional medicines will serve as verification (or repudiation) of their efficacy. This work also sets the stage for future research focused on the isolation and characterization of potentially novel and potent antimalarial compounds, which may in turn provide new drugs.

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1 - Rutgers University, Plant Biology and Pathology, 59 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901, USA
2 - University of Cape Town, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Private Bag X3, Observatory 7935, Cape Town, South Africa
3 - Rutgers University, Biotech Center, 59 Dudley Rd, Foran Hall, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901, USA

Antimalarial Activity
medicinal plants
North America
Historical botany

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 16
Location: 552B/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 3:15 PM
Number: 16007
Abstract ID:456

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