Medicinal plants from the Yanesha (Peru): Evaluation of the leishmanicidal and antimalarial activity of selected extracts

Valadeau Céline, Pabon Adriana, Deharo Eric, Albán Castillo Joaquina, Estevez Yannick, Lores Fransis Augusto, Rojas Rosario, Gamboa Dionicia, Sauvain Michel, Castillo Denis, Bourdy Geneviève

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118 Scopus citations


Aim of the study: Ninety-four ethanolic extracts of plants used medicinally by the Yanesha, an Amazonian Peruvian ethnic group, for affections related to leishmaniasis and malaria were screened in vitro against Leishmania amazonensis amastigotes and against a Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistant strain. Materials and methods: The viability of Leishmania amazonensis amastigote stages was assessed by the reduction of tetrazolium salt (MTT) while the impact on Plasmodium falciparum was determined by measuring the incorporation of radio-labelled hypoxanthine. Results and conclusions: Six plant species displayed good activity against Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistant strain (IC50 < 10 μg/ml): a Monimiaceae, Siparuna aspera (Ruiz & Pavon), A. DC., two Zingiberaceae, Renealmia thyrsoidea (Ruiz & Pavon) Poepp. & Endl. and Renealmia alpinia (Rottb.), two Piperaceae (Piper aduncum L. and Piper sp.) and the leaves of Jacaranda copaia (Aubl.) D. Don (Bignoniaceae). Eight species displayed interesting leishmanicidal activities (IC50 < 10 μg/ml): Carica papaya L. (Caricaceae), Piper dennisii Trel (Piperaceae), Hedychium coronarium J. König (Zingiberaceae), Cestrum racemosum Ruiz & Pav. (Solanaceae), Renealmia alpinia (Rottb.) Zingiberaceae, Lantana sp. (Verbenaceae), Hyptis lacustris A. St.-Hil. ex Benth. (Lamiaceae) and Calea montana Klat. (Asteraceae). Most of them are used against skin affections by Yanesha people. Results are discussed herein, according to the traditional use of the plants and compared with data obtained from the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 25 Jun 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance of CONCYTEC from Peru and DSF-IRD (JEAI) from France. We express our thanks to members of the Yanesha community who were willing to share with us their knowledge about medicinal plants. The authors are grateful to Candy Ruiz from LID-UPCH, for technical assistance in plants extractions. Céline Valadeau, Adriana Pabon and Denis Castillo received grants from the Institut Français des Etudes Andines, Colciencias and the Belgian technical cooperation respectively. Part of this work was supported by a grant from the International Foundation for Sciences attributed to Dionicia Gamboa.


  • Antimalarial
  • Leishmania
  • Leishmanicidal agents
  • Peru
  • Plasmodium
  • Traditional medicine
  • Yanesha


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