Bioactive metabolites from African medicinal plants
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A peculiarity of African culture is that the near totality of ingredients used for the formulation of medical remedies come from plant sources; when subjected to chemical analysis, these plants frequently afford biologically active substances (Iwu 1994). As part of our search for bioactive natural products, we considered as candidates for chemical analysis some African medicinal plants which are used in Guinea, as in other regions, for the so-called 'cure salee' of cattle. In this prophylaxis, bark. leaves or other parts of the plant are ground with salt and administered to the animals. A number of the plants commonly used for the 'cure salee' are known as folk medicines and have been subjected to chemical analysis; nevertheless, no systematic study aimed at the identification of the active principles involved in this treatment has been carried out to date. Thus, we have collected samples of plants used for (he 'cure salee' in the region of Boke (Republic of Guinea) with the aim of subjecting them to a systematic chemical study.