African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
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Article Number - E73E23347880

Vol.8(37), pp. 899-908 , October 2014
DOI: 10.5897/AJPP2013.3943
ISSN: 1996-0816

Full Length Research Paper

The effect on potency of adding (-)-epicatechin to crude extracts of Elephantorrhiza elephantina and Pentanisia prunelloides

Smart J. Mpofu
  • Smart J. Mpofu
  • Department of Applied Chemistry, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein Campus, P.O. Box 1701, Johannesburg, 2028, South Africa.
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Titus A.M. Msagati*
  • Titus A.M. Msagati*
  • University of South Africa (Florida): Research Unit of Nanotechnology for Water sustainability, UNISA Science Campus, Corner of Christiaan de Wet Road & Pioneer Avenue, Florida, 1709 Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Google Scholar
Rui W. M. Krause
  • Rui W. M. Krause
  • Department of Chemistry, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa.
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 Received: 12 November 2013  Accepted: 09 September 2014  Published: 08 October 2014

Copyright © 2014 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0


Elephantorrhiza elephantina (Ee) and Pentanisia prunelloides (Pp) are two medicinal plants which are widely used by traditional healers to remedy various ailments including diarrhoea, dysentery, inflammation, fever, rheumatism, heartburn, tuberculosis, haemorrhoids, skin diseases, perforated peptic ulcers and sore joints in Southern Africa (South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana and Zimbabwe). Often, decoctions and infusions from these two plants are used in combination, specifically for stomach ailments. The following study was conducted to explore the possible mechanism underlying the synergistic interactions of the joint application of these two medicinal plant species.The checkerboard micro-dilution technique was used to determine the efficacy of (-)-epicatechin (EC): palmitic acid (PA) and (-)-epicatechin: E. elephantina or P. prunelloides combinations on five selected pathogenic bacteria. The results demonstrated that the combination of EC and PA exhibit either additive or synergistic but no antagonistic interactions. Of the 35 administered combinations, 11 were synergistic, 10 additive and 14 indifferent. The fractional inhibitory concentrations (FIC) indices for the combination of EC and E. elephantina for the three pathogens tested exhibited indifferent interactions with all FIC values above 1 while the FIC indices for the 1:1 combinations of EC and P. prunelloides exhibited additive interactions (FIC values between 1 and 0.50). This is the first report to explore the possible explanation underlying the synergistic interactions exhibited by the two medicinal plants.


Key words: Elephantorrhiza elephantina, Pentanisia prunelloides, (-)-epicatechin, palmitic acid, efficacy, fractional inhibitory concentrations (FIC) index


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APA Mpofu, S.J., Msagati, T.A.M. & Krause, R.W.M. (2014). The effect on potency of adding (-)-epicatechin to crude extracts of Elephantorrhiza elephantina and Pentanisia prunelloides. African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 8(37), 899-908.
Chicago Smart J. Mpofu, Titus A.M. Msagati and Rui W. M. Krause. "The effect on potency of adding (-)-epicatechin to crude extracts of Elephantorrhiza elephantina and Pentanisia prunelloides." African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 8, no. 37 (2014): 899-908.
MLA Smart J. Mpofu, Titus A.M. Msagati and Rui W. M. Krause. "The effect on potency of adding (-)-epicatechin to crude extracts of Elephantorrhiza elephantina and Pentanisia prunelloides." African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 8.37 (2014): 899-908.
DOI 10.5897/AJPP2013.3943

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