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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 478290, 9 pages
Research Article

Antileishmanial Activity of Medicinal Plants Used in Endemic Areas in Northeastern Brazil

1Laboratório de Farmacologia e Imunidade (LaFI), Instituto de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade Federal de Alagoas, 57072-970 Maceió, AL, Brazil
2Laboratório de Pesquisa em Recursos Naturais, Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Maceió, AL, Brazil
3Laboratório de Plantas Tropicais (LPT), PPG-Dibict, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Maceió, AL, Brazil

Received 10 April 2014; Revised 7 June 2014; Accepted 23 June 2014; Published 13 July 2014

Academic Editor: Ulysses Paulino Albuquerque

Copyright © 2014 Aline Cavalcanti De Queiroz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study investigates the leishmanicidal activity of five species of plants used in folk medicine in endemic areas of the state of Alagoas, Brazil. Data were collected in the cities of Colonia Leopoldina, Novo Lino, and União dos Palmares, Alagoas state, from patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis (Leishmania amazonensis) who use medicinal plants to treat this disease. Plants extracts were tested at a concentration of 1–100 μg/mL in all experiments, except in an assay to evaluate activity against amastigotes, when 10 μg/mL was used. All plants extracts did not show deleterious activity to the host cell evidenced by LDH assay at 100, 10, and 1 μg/mL after 48 h of incubation. The plants extracts Hyptis pectinata (L.) Poit, Aloe vera L., Ruta graveolens L., Pfaffia glomerata (Spreng.) Pedersen, and Chenopodium ambrosioides L. exhibited direct activity against extracellular forms at 100 μg/mL; these extracts inhibited growth by 81.9%, 82.9%, 74.4%, 88.7%, and 87.4%, respectively, when compared with promastigotes. The plants extracts H. pectinata, A. vera, and R. graveolens also significantly diminished the number of amastigotes at 10 μg/mL, inhibiting growth by 85.0%, 40.4%, 94.2%, and 97.4%, respectively, when compared with control. Based on these data, we conclude that the five plants exhibited considerable leishmanicidal activity.