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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 617607, 12 pages
Research Article

Preliminary Phytochemical Screening and Biological Activities of Bulbine abyssinica Used in the Folk Medicine in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Medicinal Plants and Economic Development (MPED) Research Centre, Department of Botany, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa

Received 2 July 2015; Revised 2 September 2015; Accepted 20 September 2015

Academic Editor: Nunziatina De Tommasi

Copyright © 2015 Cromwell Mwiti Kibiti and Anthony Jide Afolayan. 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.


Bulbine abyssinica A. Rich. is used in traditional medicine to treat rheumatism, dysentery, bilharzia, cracked lips, back pain, infertility, diabetes mellitus, and gastrointestinal, vaginal, and bladder infections. Therefore, preliminary phytochemical screening, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties of the whole plant (acetone and aqueous extracts) were determined using standard procedures. The in vitro antioxidant model assays revealed that the plant possesses free radical scavenging potential varying with free radical species. The species showed significant protein denaturation inhibitory activity with good protection against erythrocyte membrane lysis indicating anti-inflammatory potential. The results also showed that the species was active against the growth of all the selected eight diabetic status opportunistic bacteria except one. Moreover, the species is characterized by appreciable amounts of total phenols, flavonoids, flavanols, proanthocyanidins, and alkaloids. Traces amounts of saponins and tannins were also observed. Amongst the identified phytochemicals present, empirical searches identified them being antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial agents. The identification of these phytochemical constituents with their known pharmacological properties indicates that this plant is a good source of the free radical scavenging, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial agents. These findings also account for the multipharmacological use of B. abyssinica in fork medicine.