Pharmacological, phytochemical and safety evaluation of commercial herbal preparations common in South Africa.
Ndhlala, Ashwell Rungano.
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Herbal formulations claimed to cure several medical conditions including skin eruptions, chest pains, wounds, gout, menstrual pains, stress, nervous disorders, microbial and viral infections as well as stomach ailments have recently appeared as part of South African traditional medicine. The formulations consist of mixtures of extracts of different plant parts from several different plant species packaged in labelled bottles or boxes. The mixtures are available for sale in herbal shops and public places. While there has been widespread use of these herbal mixtures, there has been no scientific evidence to support their use. This project was aimed at documenting, validating claimed efficacy and testing the safety of fourteen unregistered commercial herbal preparations commonly sold in Pietermaritzburg. A detailed investigation of the pharmacological effects and safety of the plant components of one of the mixtures, Imbiza ephuzwato was also carried out.
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