Investigation of Traditional Palestinian Medicinal Plant Inula viscosa as Potential Anti-malarial Agent

Mutaz Akkawi, Ibrahim Abbasi, Suhair Jaber, Qassem Abouremeleh, Abedelmajeed Nasereddin, Pierre Lutgen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Malaria is a life threatening parasitic disease which is prevalent mainly in developing countries; it is the main cause of global mortality and morbidity. Development and search of novel and effective anti-malarial agents to overcome chloroquine resistance have become a very important issue. Most anti-malarial drugs target the erythrocytic stage of malaria infection, where hemozoin synthesis takes place and is considered a crucial process for the parasite survival. Throughout last decades, natural products have been a significant source of chemotherapeutics especially against malaria. Inula viscosa, is a shrub that grows around the Mediterranean basin and considered as an important Palestinian traditional medicinal herb. In this research it was found that the Palestinian flora Inula viscosa alcoholic extract has a significant and promising anti-malarial effect in both in vitro and in vivo systems. The crude alcoholic extract of Inula viscosa has the capability to impede the formation of β-hematin in-vitro; with an efficiency of about 93% when compared to the standard chloroquine which gave 94% at comparable concentrations. In vivo studies showed that this crude extract inhibited the growth of Plasmodium parasites in the red blood cells at a rate of about 96.6%, with an EC50 value of 0.55 ng/mL. Several secondary plant metabolites may be responsible for this anti-malarial activity; the effect also may be most probably due to the presence of high concentrations of nerolidol which has often been found at high concentrationsin this plant. Nerolidol shows a stronger inhibition of hypoxanthine incorporation than quinine. Its anti-malarial effect is potentiated by other essential oils. Nerolidol is also found in several Artemisia species and in Cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass) and Virola surinamensis, all plants known for their anti-malarial properties.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)156-162
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Investigation of Traditional Palestinian Medicinal Plant Inula viscosa as Potential Anti-malarial Agent'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this