Advertisement

Clinical Anti-Allergic Effects of African Vernonia amygdalina Leaf Extracts

  • Nlandu Roger Ngatu
Chapter

Abstract

Vernonia amygdalina Del. (VA) is an edible plant belonging to the Asteraceae family, genus Vernonia. This review mainly provides information about its effects on allergic skin disorders, namely, atopic and contact dermatitis. Leaf extracts of African V. amygdalina leaf contain several bioactive compounds, mainly flavonoids (luteolin, luteolin-7-O-glucuronide, luteolin 7-O-glucoside) and sesquiterpenes (vernodalin, vernodalol). It also contains a number of lipid and carbohydrates mainly threitol, inositol, hexadecanoic acid, and octadecanoic acid. After a personal experience on beneficial anti-inflammatory and anti-itch effects on skin disorders, we first conducted experimental studies using a mouse model of hapten-induced atopic dermatitis-like disease to evaluate the anti-itch and anti-allergic effects of VA leaf extracts. Later on, we conducted a preliminary comparative clinical trial in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD). In the prophylactic and curative studies in a mouse model of AD, V. amygdalina extracts (Vamex) displayed a better anti-itch effect than the steroid preparation (hydrocortisone), whereas it was as effective as hydrocortisone in regard to AD-like symptoms in mice. On the other hand, in a comparative preliminary clinical trial in African AD and CD patients, Vamex significantly reduced eczema area and severity index (EASI) and total serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) level as compared with Vaseline and was as effective as topical dexamethasone after a 2-week treatment period. Furthermore, our case reports on patients with complicated chronic and recalcitrant eczematous skin disorders also showed the beneficial effects of African V. amygdalina leaf-derived biomaterial on eczema, suggesting its potent anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties.

Keywords

Atopic dermatitis Contact dermatitis Pruritus Vernonia amygdalina 

Abbreviations

AD

Atopic dermatitis

CD

Contact dermatitis

EASI

Eczema area and severity index

ERK

Extracellular signal-regulated kinases

ESR

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate

GC-MS

Gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy

IgE

Immunoglobulin E

MAPK

Mitogen-activated protein kinases

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Professor Narufumi Suganuma and Professor Hidetoshi Sano from Kochi University Medical School from the Department of Environmental Medicine and Department of Dermatology, respectively; we also thank Dr. Takao Saruta from Saruta Dermatological Clinic and Dr. Maki Yokogawa from Yokogawa Dermatological Clinic in Kochi prefecture, Japan, for their wonderful support during the implementation of our environmental allergic skin disorders research, which consisted of our PhD thesis theme.

Conflict of Interest: Findings from our Vernonia amygdalina and skin allergy research have been subject to patent application in 2010; an international and a national (Japan) patents were obtained in 2012 and 2015, respectively.

References

  1. Bieber T. Atopic dermatitis. Ann Dermatol. 2010;22(2):125–37.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Dawid-Pac R. Medicinal plants used in treatment of inflammatory skin diseases. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2013;30(3):170–7.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Erasto P, Grierson DS, Afolayan AJ. Evaluation of antioxidant activity and the fatty acid profile of the leaves of Vernonia amygdalina growing in South Africa. Food Chem. 2007;104:636–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ezegbivie EB, Bryant JL, Walker A. A novel natural inhibitor of extracellular signal-regulated kinases and human breast cancer cell growth. Exp Biol. 2004;229:163–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ijeh II, CECC E. Current perspectives on the medicinal potential of Vernonia. amygdalina. J Med Plants Res. 2011;5(7):1051–61.Google Scholar
  6. Kalliomaki M, Salminen S, Arvilommi H, et al. Probiotics in primary prevention of atopic dermatitis: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 2001;357(9262):1076–9.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Kawakami Y, Yumoto K, Kawakami T. An improved mouse model of atopic dermatitis and suppression of skin lesions by an inhibitor of Tec family kinases. Allergol Int. 2007;56:403–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Kim SO, Ah YM, Yu YM, et al. Effects of probiotics for the treatment of atopic dermatitis: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2014;113(2):217–26.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Lee SH, Kim SK, Han JB, et al. Inhibitory effects of Rumex japonicus Houtt on the development of atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions in NCNga mice. Br J Dermatol. 2006;155:33–83.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Luo X, Jiang Y, Frank R, et al. Isolation and structure determination of sesquiterpene lactone (vernodalinol) from Vernonia amygdalina extracts. Pharm Biol. 2011;49(5):464–70.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Mehrbani M, Choopani R, Fekri A, et al. The efficacy of whey associated with dodder extract on moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in adults: a randomized, double-blind, place-controlled clinical trial. J Ethnopharmacol. 2015;172:325–32.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Ngatu NR, Okajima MK, Yokogawa M, et al. Anti-allergic effects of Vernonia amygdalina leaf extracts on hapten-induced atopic dermatitis-like disease in mice. Allergol Int. 2012;61:597–607.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Ngatu NR, Hirota R, Okajima MK, et al. Efficacy of leaf extracts of Vernonia amygdalina from Central Africa on atopic eczema. Ann Phytomed. 2014a;3(1):43–9.Google Scholar
  14. Ngatu NR, Mukuamu M, Hirota R, et al. Severe, chronic and recalcitrant atopic dermatitis associated with tinea capitis: diagnostic approach and efficacy of topical Vernonia amygdalina Del. Extracts. Ann Phytomed. 2014b;3(1):103–6.Google Scholar
  15. Niccoli AA, Artesi AL, Candio F, et al. Preliminary results on clinical effects of probiotic Lactobacillus salivarius LS01 in children affected by atopic dermatitis. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2014;48(1):S34–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Nyembue TD, Ntumba W, Omadjela LA, et al. Sensitization rate and clinical profile of Congolese patients with rhinitis. Allergy Rhinol. 2012;3(1):216–e24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Oboh FOJ, Masodje HI. Nutritional and antimicrobial properties of Vernonia amygdalina leaves. Int J Biomed Health Sci. 2009;5(2):51–6.Google Scholar
  18. Olorunfemi EA, Arnold IC, Chinenye I, et al. Effects of the leaf extracts of Vernonia amygdalina on the pharmacokinetics of dihydroartemisinin in rat. Pharmacologia. 2012;3(12):713–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Oyugi DA, Luo X, Lee KS, et al. Activity markers of the anti-breast carcinoma cell growth fractions of Vernonia amygdalina extracts. Exp Biol Med. 2009;234:410–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Wong GWK, Leung TF, Ko FWS. Changing prevalence of allergic diseases in the Asia-Pacific region. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2013a;5(5):251–7.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Wong FC, Woo CC, Hsu A, et al. The anti-cancer activities of Vernonia amygdalina extracts in human breast cancer cell lines are mediated through caspase-dependent and p53-dependent pathways. PLoS One. 2013b;8(10):e78021.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nlandu Roger Ngatu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of MedicineInternational University of Health and Welfare (IUHW)ChibaJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Public HealthInternational University of Health and Welfare (IUHW)TokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations