Alternate medicines also effective in treating Leishmaniasis


RATODERO: Alternate medicines based on plants and other natural products are also effective in treating skin ailment of Leishmaniasis, says result of a local study.

Leishmaniasis is a chronic infection of skin, mucosa or viscera caused by intercellular protozoan of the genus Leishmania. Phlebotomine sandflies (vector) transmit Leishmania from infected animal to human or from person to person.

In cutaneous Leishmaniasis, the amastigote multiply in dermal macrophages near sand fly bite typically on the exposed body surface such as forearms, limbs, cheeks or ears. Lesions may be nodal or ulcerative. Nodules may be single or multiple, whereas ulcers are of relatively less destructive dry type to more destructive wet type.

In Pakistan, the cutaneous Leishmaniasis is most prevalent in many areas including Larkana and Kamber-Shahdadkot districts.

This is a disease of tropical areas where majority of population belongs to poor community that cannot afford quite expensive recommended drugs (meglumine antimonite and amphotercin B etc).

Systemic therapy is also expensive as compared to local applications.

The local traditional use of some plants and herbs for the treatment of infected sores and ulcer has been notified by various authors and local population.

In the past, outbreak of disease in Larkana and Kamber-Shahdadkot region many affected individuals claimed to be cured by local application of leaves of plant Mat lippia locally called as “Bucan”.

Keeping in the view of that fact a preliminary study was carried out to confirm or refuse this claim. Objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of topical ointment (20%) made from leaves of Mat lippia in cutaneous Leishmaniasis.

The study was conducted at Leprosy Centre Larkana with collaboration of Pathology Department of Chandka Medical College, Benazir Bhutto Medical University, Larkana, by Dr. Farooq Rahman Soomro, Incharge Leprosy Center, Dr. Nuzhat Bhatti and Prof Ghulam Murtaza Pathan of CMC Pathology.

Dr. Farooq Soomro presented the results of study in Pakistan Association of Dermatologists Conference held in Karachi.

He said leaves of plant L. nodiflora were collected from rural areas of Taluka Warah, District Kamber- Shahdadkot. These were kept under shade for 20 days at room temperature. Extraction of dried leaves was reduced to coarse powder by using an electric blender. The patients were instructed to use 20% Mat lippia ointment on sores and ulcers three times a day after cleaning the lesions with soap and water.

The patients were followed up regularly, initially on every third day and then after every week up to six weeks.

The examination of lesions for healing was noted on every follow up and observations recorded and compared carefully with that of first and last examination. Out of 80 patients excellent response was observed in 48 (60%) patients.

Mat lippia (phyla nodiflora) in local Sindhi Language it is popularly known as “Bucan” is widely grows and distributed in Sindh province and plains of Pakistan.

Alcoholic extract of Mat lippia has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity. Leaves of the plant are used to treat the various medical problems in rural population specially for healing of sores and ulcers.

The study also shows excellent response of Mat lippia ointment used topically and no any side effect noted. This confirms the claim of effectiveness of plant Mat lippia as used by local population for healing of sores and ulcers.

This study showed that 20% Mat lippia ointment seems to be effective in the treatment of cutaneous Leishmaniasis. However, further comparative studies are recommended to evaluate the efficacy of this cheap treatment for cutaneous Leishmaniasis.

Leave a Reply