Authors: M Gulumian, ES Yahaya and V Steenkamp

Source: Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Vol 2018, Article ID 4089541.

Summary: The use of traditional herbal remedies as alternative medicine plays an important role in Africa since it forms part of primary health care for treatment of various medical conditions, including wounds. Although physiological levels of free radicals are essential to the healing process, they are known to partly contribute to wound chronicity when in excess. Consequently, antioxidant therapy has been shown to facilitate healing of such wounds. Also, a growing body of evidence suggests that, at least, part of the therapeutic value of herbals may be explained by their antioxidant activity. This paper reviews African herbal remedies with antioxidant activity with the aim of indicating potential resources for wound treatment. Firstly, herbals with identified antioxidant compounds and, secondly, herbals with proven antioxidant activity, but where the compound(s) responsible for the activity has not yet been identified, are listed. In the latter case it has been attempted to ascribe the activity to a compound known to be present in the plant family and/or species, where related activity has previously been documented for another genus of the species. Also, the tests employed to assess antioxidant activity and the potential caveats thereof during assessment are briefly commented on.