As a consequence of the renewed interest in the search for new substances of natural origin as potential candidates in drug development, our research group has been investigating higher plants employed in West African traditional medicine.
Traditional healing methods are widespread in the African countries since the medical system is undeveloped for social and economic reasons. Many people have knowledge about the folklore uses of plants and plant-derived preparation but this vanish in near future because of the disappearance of indigenous cultures, migration from country to the towns and the destruction of the ecosystems. Hence the importance of studying such plants which could have value as medicinal agents.
Our work is directed to ethnobotanical information, botanical selection, preparation of extracts, chromatographic separation, structural characterization by NMR and ESI-MS technique, and biological tests of the extract and/or compounds responsible of the
activity. In the course of our work we have already studied some plants used in Malian traditional medicine (e.g. Vernonia and Vismia spp.) leading to the isolation and structural characterization of a number of new and known secondary metabolites with various chemical structures such as sesquiterpenes, steroids, phenolic, and aromatic compounds, and with interesting biological activity.
In this review we report the recent results obtained from chemical and biological study on some Malian medicinal plants. We focus our review on plants used in Bambara traditional medicine as remedies for a lot of diseases.
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