Injuries from accidents are frequent occurrences. In most developing countries, patronage of alternative medicines to treat such injuries is common. Ficus sur Forssk (Moraceae) leaves are used for wound management in alternative medicine in Northern Nigeria. This study aimed at determining the effect of a formulation of the aqueous extract of F. sur on wound healing. A decoction of powdered leaves of F. sur was prepared using distilled water. Phytochemical test was carried out on the extract which was then formulated into cream preparation of 5, 10 and 20% concentrations. Skin irritation tests were conducted by topical application of the formulation by un-occluded procedure on mice. Effects of topical application of 5, 10 and 20% of the cream on wounds created using the excision wound and burn wound methods were evaluated. Phytochemical compounds including tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids and saponins were detected. The formulation did not produce any irritant reaction as noerythema or oedema was observed on shaved treated animal skins. The 10 and 20% formulation produced decrease in wound diameter created by excision and also promoted fibroblast proliferation along with enhancement of deposition of collagen and elastic fibers in the burn wound model. The 20% cream treated groups produced the shortest healing time when compared with the control. The formulation of the aqueous extract of F. sur (FEFS) accelerated wound healing and decreased the wound healing time which may be attributed to synergistic actions of the phyto-constituents of the extract.
Key words: Wounds, burns, skin irritation, herbal cream.
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