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Comparative study on Anthelmintic property of Medicinal Plants

Asha Devi. S*, Caroline Lo Yan Fung, Priya Prakash, Theodora Lydia
School of Bio Sciences and Technology, VIT University, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.
Corresponding Author: Dr. S. Asha Devi Associate Professor School of Biosciences and Technology VIT University, Tamil Nadu, India. E-mail: [email protected]
Received: 21-11-2013 Accepted: 04-02-2014
Copyright: © 2014 Dr. S. Asha Devi et al, publisher and licensee IYPF. This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.
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For the present study Acacia catechu, Euphorbia heterophylla, Corallocarpus epigaeus and Caesalpinia bonducella plant parts were chosen to evaluate the comparative analysis on anthelmintic activity. Different concentrations (20, 40, 60, 80, 100mg/ml) of methanolic extracts of these plant parts were used. The evaluation parameters involved the determination of time of paralysis and time of death of the worms. Piperazine citrate was used as standard drug at 10 mg/ml concentration and saline as control. The results obtained showed that Corallocarpus epigaeus showed the highest anthelmintic activity with death time of 9 minutes at 100 mg/ml concentration.


Anthelmintic activity , Euphorbia heterophylla, Corallocarpus epigaeus , Caesalpinia bonducella, Acacia cathechu, Piperazine citrate.


One of the most common problems faced by developing countries is helminthes infections, which poses a major threat to human well being. It is an infection in which human intestinal parasitic worms are vectored through air, water and food which causes secretion of toxins and uses the vital nutrients from the host bodies ultimately leading to the manifestation of the disease [1]. According to the WHO, the present treatments for these diseases have limitations as these drugs are mainly microfilaricidal, with little effects on adult worms, so only few drugs are used in the treatment of helminthes in humans. It is seen that natural sources such as traditional medicinal plants, help in the treatment of infection from parasite.
The plant parts chosen for the study were roots of Euphorbia heterophylla (Figure 1), Corallocarpus epigaeus (Figure 2), bark of Acacia catechu Figure 3), and seeds of Caesalpinia bonducella (Figure 4). Euphorbia heterophylla belongs to the family of Euphorbiaceae commonly called as “Atividayam” in Tamil Nadu. Euphorbia heterophylla leaves and roots are used in traditional medical practices as laxative, antigonorrheal, migraine and wart cures and the plant lattices have been used as fish poison, ordeal poisons, insecticide, anticonvulsant, cough remedy, skin irritant, anti-cancer and recently anti- HIV activities of Euphorbia species have also been reported[2]. Corallocarpus epigaeus belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae commonly called as “Akashagarudan” in Tamil Nadu. It is a prostrate or climbing monoecious plant whose roots and rhizomes has benefit in cases of chronic mucous eneteritis and also used as anthelmintic. It is especially useful in syphilitic cases, old venereal complaints and chronic dysentery, effective remedy for rheumatism and snake bite[3]. Acacia catechu belongs to the family of Leguminosae commonly known as “Karungali” in Tamil Nadu. It has long been used for the treatment of skin, sexual, stomach problems, malaria, sore throat (aerial part) and toothache (bark). It has antiplasmodial activity, effective against hepatitis-C virus and HIV[4]. Caesalpinia bonducella belongs to the family of Caesalpiniaceae commonly known as “Kalarchi” in Tamil Nadu. Almost all parts of this plant are being used in traditional medicine to treat various diseases. The leaves of Caesalpinia bonducella have been utilized as an anti-pyretic, anti-inflammatory [5]. In our study the anthelmintic activity of these four medicinal plants were evaluated on adult Indian earthworms Pheretima posthuma due to its anatomical and physiological resemblance with the intestinal roundworm parasites of human being [6].

Material and Methods

The plants materials were collected from Horticulture research center, Yerkaud, Tamil Nadu. The different plant parts such as the heartwood (bark) of Acacia catechu, roots of Euphorbia heterophylla and Corallocarpus epigaeus and the seeds of Caesalpinia bonducella were collected and washed thoroughly in distilled water. A known quantity of the roots, bark and the seeds (100g) were dried in oven at 40 C to constant weight. The dried roots bark and seeds were powdered in a mixer-grinder and used for the study. A known amount of the powdered contents of the roots, bark and seeds was extracted with methanol for 24 h. Extracts thus obtained were filtered through 0.45-μm filter. The residue was extracted twice with solvents as mentioned. The combined methanol extracts were concentrated at 40C, weighed, and stored at 4C. Three groups of approximately equal size (800 mg) earthworms consisting of three earthworms in each group were used for the study. Group one was treated with normal saline and used as control. Group two was treated with standard drug Piperazine citrate (10 mg/ml). Group three was treated with different concentration (20 to 100 mg/ml) of Euphorbia heterophylla root extract. The same procedure was followed for Corallocarpus epigaeus (root), Acacia catechu (bark) and Caesalpinia bonducella seed extracts. After treatment observations were made for the time taken to paralysis and death in individual worms.

Results and Discussion

The time of paralysis and death of the Pheritema postuma (Indian earthworm) of various extract treatment were given in the table 1-4. Paralysis was said to occur when the worms do not revive even in normal saline. Death was concluded when the worms lost their motility followed with fading away of their body colour.
The results were dose dependent, on comparing the methanolic extracts of the medicinal plants given above it was found that Corallocarpus epigaeus showed the highest anthelminthic activity with death time of 9 mins at 100 mg/ml concentration, followed by Euphorbia heterophylla 14 mins, Acacia catechu 16 mins and Caesalpinia bonducella 18 mins at 100 mg/ml concentration. These plants have significant anthelmintic activity and potential to develop as useful and safe alternative to the anthelmintic drugs present in markets having problems concern with side effects and development of resistance. These plants also can be further explored for its phytochemical profile to identify the active constituents responsible for the anthelmintic activity.


Authors are thankful to Dr. G. Viswanathan, Chancellor VIT University, Vellore for providing necessary support and facilities.

Tables at a glance

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Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4

Figures at a glance

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Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4


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2) Aditya MP, Pandharkar TM, Yerawar PP and Patawar VA. Evaluation of In-Vitro AntihelminthicActivity of Euphorbia Heterophyllum. Journal of Chemical Biological and Physical Sciences 2012; 2: 2401-2407.

3) ShriVijayaKirubha T, Senthamarai R, Vasuki K, VenkateswaraRao A, Selvadurai S. Anthelmintic activity of roots and rhizomes of CorallocarpusEpigaeus. J. Nat. Prod. Plant Resource 2011; 1: 81-84.

4) Patil, Suyog H, Deshmukh, Pooja V, Sreenivas S. A, Sangameshwar K, Vijapur, Laxman S. In vitroAnthelmintic activity of Acacia catechu.International Journal of Green Pharmacy 2013; 7:34-36.

5) Karthi J, Thamizhmozhi M, Saravanan C, AyasAhamed K, NirubanChakravarthy K. Invitroanthelmintic activity of leaves extracts of Caesalpiniabonducella. Der Pharmacia Lettre] 2011; 3: 317-319.

6) Asha Devi S, Ganjewala Deepak and Subramanian Babu .Anthelmintic activity of rhizome extract of AcoruscalamusL.In comparison with beta and alpha asarone.Research Journal of Biotechnology 2012; 7:112-113.
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