**Ajuga remota** Benth. : from ethnopharmacology to phytomedical perspective in the treatment of malaria
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
Phytomedicine: international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology. - Stuttgart
, p. 1229-1237
University of Antwerp
Treatment and control of malaria have become more difficult with the spread of drug-resistant parasites and insecticide-resistant mosquito vectors. In the search for new antimalarial drugs, ethnopharmacological sources should merit more attention. Establishing the safety of traditional herbal medicines, along with identifying their active principles, are essential steps in the production of a properly standardized and accessible herbal medicine. Phytochemical characterization could also serve as a base for the development of new chemical compounds. The genus of Ajuga belongs to the family Lamiaceae and contains at least 301 species. Many of these plants have been used in traditional medicine. Ajuga remota in particular is traditionally used as a herbal remedy for fever and infections, and is prescribed for malaria by 66% of the Kenyan herbalists. A large number of compounds have already been isolated from A. remota, including ergosterol-5,8-endoperoxide (6), ajugarin-I (1), 8-O-acetylharpagide (5) and several phytoecdysteroids. In vitro pharmacological studies have been conducted on constituents of A. remota of which some of them displayed a concentration-dependent inhibition of chloroquine-sensitive and -resistant Plasmodium falciparum and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Inhibition of parasitaemia was demonstrated in mouse models with P. berghei, supporting the traditional use of the plant against malaria. In this state-of-the-art review, A. remota as a possible therapeutic tool for malaria is discussed.