The treatment of epileptic seizures: the potential of Malaysian medicinal plants

  • Brandon Kar Meng Choo (1) Neuropharmacology Research Laboratory, Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia. (2) School of Science, Monash University Malaysia, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia.
  • Yatinesh Kumari Neuropharmacology Research Laboratory, Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia.
  • Seow Mun Hue School of Science, Monash University Malaysia, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia.
  • Mohd. Farooq Shaikh Neuropharmacology Research Laboratory, Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia.
Keywords: epilepsy, traditional use, anti-epileptic potential, natural products

Abstract

Epileptic seizures result from excessive brain activity and may affect sensory, motor and autonomic function; as well as, emotional state, memory, cognition or behaviour. Effective anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are available but have tolerability issues due to their side effects. Medicinal plants are potential candidates for novel AEDs, as many are traditional epilepsy remedies. Malaysia is a megadiverse country, with many endemic plants serving as a large pool of potential candidates for the development of local herbal products. The large variety of flora make Malaysia a prime location for the discovery of medicinal plants with anti-convulsive potential. This review lists 23 Malaysian medicinal plants, of which four are used traditionally to treat epilepsy, without any scientific evidence. A further eight plants have no known traditional anti-epileptic use but have scientific evidence of its anti-epileptic activity. The remaining 11 plants possess both traditional use and scientific evidence. Thus, this review identified several potential candidates for the development of novel AEDs or enhancing current ones; as well as identified an imbalance between traditional use and scientific evidence. In addition, this review also identified several limitations in the reviewed studies and provided additional information to facilitate the design of future studies.

References

Abbasi E, Nassiri-Asl M, Shafeei M, Sheikhi M. Neuroprotective effects of vitexin, a flavonoid, on pentylenetetrazole-induced seizure in rats. Chem Biol Drug Design. 2012;80(2):274-278. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-0285.2012.01400.x

Adams M, Schneider S-V, Kluge M, Kessler M, Hamburger M. Epilepsy in the renaissance: a survey of remedies from 16th and 17th century German herbals. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012;143(1):1-13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2012.06.010

Ahmad N, Fazal H, Abbasi BH, Farooq S, Ali M, Khan MA. Biological role of Piper nigrum L. (Black pepper): a review. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2012;2(3):S1945-S1953. https://doi.org/10.1016/s2221-1691(12)60524-3

Alam A, Ferdosh S, Ghafoor K, Hakim A, Juraimi AS, Khatib A, et al. Clinacanthus nutans: a review of the medicinal uses, pharmacology and phytochemistry. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2016;9(4):402-409. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apjtm.2016.03.011

Alaribe C, Anyakora C, Emoghene E, De Waard M. GC–MS profile, anti-seizure and anti-pyretic activities of palm kernel nut oil and its isolate, N-octanoic acid from specially breed palm kernel Elaeis guineensis. Nigerian J Pharm Res. 2017;12(2):87-94.

Araujo CC, Leon LL. Biological activities of Curcuma longa L. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2001;96(5):723-728.

Asif M. Protective role of biological potential curcumin in epileptic seizures and memory impairment. Res J Phytomed. 2015;1(1):8-14.

Belemkar S, Kumar A, Pata MK. Pharmacological screening of herbal extract of Piper nigrum (Maricha) and Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Dalchini) for anticonvulsant activity. Ethnopharmacology. 2013;2013(2):1-5.

Belemkar S, Yadav AK, Pata MK. Pharmacological screening of herbal extract of Swertia chirata and Cinnamomum zeylanicum for anticonvulsant activity. Inventi Rapid: Ethnopharmacology. 2013;2013(2):1-5.

Berghmans S, Hunt J, Roach A, Goldsmith P. Zebrafish offer the potential for a primary screen to identify a wide variety of potential anticonvulsants. Epilepsy Res. 2007;75(1):18-28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2007.03.015

Blanco MM, Costa CARA, Freire AO, Santos Jr JG, Costa M. Neurobehavioral effect of essential oil of Cymbopogon Citratus in mice. Phytomedicine. 2009;16(2-3):265-270. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2007.04.007

Cameron A, Bansal A, Dua T, Hill SR, Moshe SL, Mantel-Teeuwisse AK, et al. Mapping the availability, price, and affordability of antiepileptic drugs in 46 countries. Epilepsia. 2012;53(6):962-969. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1528-1167.2012.03446.x

Chan EW, Lim Y, Wong S. Phytochemistry and pharmacological properties of Etlingera elatior: a review. Pharmacogn J. 2011;3(22):6-10.

Chatterjee S, Niaz Z, Gautam S, Adhikari S, Variyar PS, Sharma A. Antioxidant activity of some phenolic constituents from green pepper (Piper nigrum L.) and fresh nutmeg mace (Myristica fragrans). Food Chem. 2007;101(2):515-523.

Cheikhyoussef A, Shapi M, Matengu K, Ashekele HM. Ethnobotanical study of indigenous knowledge on medicinal plant use by traditional healers in Oshikoto region, Namibia. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2011;7(1):10. https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-4269-7-10

Chiou L-C, Ling J-Y, Chang C-C. Chinese herb constituent β-eudesmol alleviated the electroshock seizures in mice and electrographic seizures in rat hippocampal slices. Neurosci Lett. 1997;231(3):171-174. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3940(97)00557-0

Chung S, Wang N, Hank N. Comparative retention rates and long-term tolerability of new antiepileptic drugs. Seizure. 2007;16(4):296-304. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seizure.2007.01.004

de Almeida RN, de Sousa DP, Nobrega FF, Claudino Fde S, Araujo DA, Leite JR, et al. Anticonvulsant effect of a natural compound alpha,beta-epoxy-carvone and its action on the nerve excitability. Neurosci Lett. 2008;443(1):51-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2008.07.037

de Almeida RN, de Sousa DP, Nóbrega FFdF, Claudino FdS, Araújo DAM, Leite JR, et al. Anticonvulsant effect of a natural compound α,β-epoxy-carvone and its action on the nerve excitability. Neurosci Lett. 2008;443(1):51-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2008.07.037

Edeoga H, Okwu D, Mbaebie B. Phytochemical constituents of some nigerian medicinal plants. Afr J Biotechnol. 2005;4(7):685-688.

Fisher RS, Acevedo C, Arzimanoglou A, Bogacz A, Cross JH, Elger CE, et al. ILAE official report: a practical clinical definition of epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2014;55(4):475-482. https://doi.org/10.1111/epi.12550

French JA, Gazzola DM. New generation antiepileptic drugs: what do they offer in terms of improved tolerability and safety? Ther Adv Drug Saf. 2011;2(4):141-158. https://doi.org/10.1177/2042098611411127

Galal AA, Abdellatief SA. Neuropharmacological studies on Syzygium aromaticum (clove) essential oil. Int J Pharmcy Pharm Sci. 2015;5(2):1013-1018.

Grone BP, Baraban SC. Animal models in epilepsy research: legacies and new directions. Nat Neurosci. 2015;18(3):339-343. https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.3934

Gruca M, van Andel TR, Balslev H. Ritual Uses of Palms in Traditional medicine in sub-saharan africa: a review. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2014;10(1):60. https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-4269-10-60

Gupta A, Wambebe C, Parsons DL. Central and cardiovascular effects of the alcoholic extract of the leaves of Carica papaya. Int J Crude Drug Res. 1990;28(4):257-266. https://doi.org/10.3109/13880209009082830

Gurib-Fakim A. Medicinal plants: traditions of yesterday and drugs of tomorrow. Mol Aspects Med. 2006;27(1):1-93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mam.2005.07.008

Halder S, Mehta AK, Kar R, Mustafa M, Mediratta PK, Sharma KK. Clove oil reverses learning and memory deficits in scopolamine-treated mice. Planta Medica. 2011;77(08):830-834. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0030-1250605

Holland K. Epilepsy by the Numbers: Facts, Statistics, and You: Healthline Media; 2014 [cited 2017 2nd June]. Available from: http://www.healthline.com/health/epilepsy/facts-statistics-infographic

Hossain MA, Mizanur Rahman SM. Isolation and characterisation of flavonoids from the leaves of medicinal plant Orthosiphon stamineus. Arabian J Chem. 2015;8(2):218-221. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arabjc.2011.06.016

Hossain MA, Mizanur Rahman SM. Isolation and characterisation of flavonoids from the leaves of medicinal plant Orthosiphon Stamineus. Arab J Chem. 2015;8(2):218-221. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arabjc.2011.06.016.

Ismail M. Central properties and chemical composition of Ocimum basilicum. essential oil. Pharm Biol. 2006;44(8):619-626.

Jaiswal P, Kumar P, Singh VK, Singh DK. Biological Effects of Myristica fragrans. Annu Rev Biomed Sci. 2009;11:21-29.

Joffry SM, Yob N, Rofiee M, Affandi M, Suhaili Z, Othman F, et al. Melastoma malabathricum (L.) Smith ethnomedicinal uses, chemical constituents, and pharmacological properties: a review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2012:258434. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/258434

Joffry SM, Yob NJ, Rofiee MS, Affandi MM, Suhaili Z, Othman F, et al. Melastoma malabathricum (L.) Smith ethnomedicinal uses, chemical constituents, and pharmacological properties: a review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:258434. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/258434

Kalita D, Bora RL. Some folk medicines from Lakhimpur district, Assam. Indian J Tradit Knowledge. 2008;7(3):414-416.

Kandratavicius L, Balista PA, Lopes-Aguiar C, Ruggiero RN, Umeoka EH, Garcia-Cairasco N, et al. Animal models of epilepsy: use and limitations. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2014;10:1693-1705. https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S50371

Khatun MA, Harun-Or-Rashid M, Rahmatullah M. Scientific validation of eight medicinal plants used in traditional medicinal systems of Malaysia: a review. American-Eurasian J Sustainable Agric. 2011;5(1):67-75.

Kulkarni V, Dounde S, Kureshi T, Siddiqui A, Rub RA. Evaluation of antiepileptic potential of Hibiscus sabdariffa Linn. Pharmacol Online. 2011;3:115-127.

Kumar V. Potential medicinal plants for CNS disorders: an overview. Phytother Res. 2006;20(12):1023-1035. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.1970

Kundap UP, Kumari Y, Othman I, Shaikh MF. Zebrafish as a model for epilepsy-induced cognitive dysfunction: a pharmacological, biochemical and behavioral approach. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8(515):515. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2017.00515

Kupferberg H. Animal Models Used in the Screening of Antiepileptic Drugs. Epilepsia. 2008;42:7-12. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1528-1167.2001.00002.x

Lobay D. Rauwolfia in the treatment of hypertension. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2015;14(3):40-46.

Loscher W. Animal models of intractable epilepsy. Prog Neurobiol. 1997;53(2):239-258. https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0301-0082(97)00035-X

Loscher W. Critical review of current animal models of seizures and epilepsy used in the discovery and development of new antiepileptic drugs. Seizure. 2011;20(5):359-368. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seizure.2011.01.003

Lossius MI, Hessen E, Mowinckel P, Stavem K, Erikssen J, Gulbrandsen P, et al. Consequences of antiepileptic drug withdrawal: a randomized, double-blind study (Akershus Study). Epilepsia. 2008;49(3):455-463. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1528-1167.2007.01323.x

Lua PL, Neni WS. Awareness, knowledge, and attitudes with respect to epilepsy: an investigation in relation to health-related quality of life within a Malaysian setting. Epilepsy Behav. 2011;21(3):248-254. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2011.03.039

Manikkoth S, Deepa B, Joy AE, Rao S. Anticonvulsant activity of Phyllanthus amarus in experimental animal models. Int J Appl Biol Pharm Tech. 2011;2(4):144-149.

Mittermeier RA, Mittermeier CG, Gil PR. Megadiversity: Earth's Biologically Wealthiest Nations. Chelonian Conserv Biol. 1999;3(3):537.

Mittermeier RA. Primate diversity and the tropical forest: case studies from Brazil and Madagascar and the importance of the megadiversity countries. Wilson EO, editor. Washington D.C: National Academies Press; 1988. p.145-154.

Moshi MJ, Kagashe GA, Mbwambo ZH. Plants used to treat epilepsy by Tanzanian traditional healers. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005;97(2):327-336. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2004.11.015

Müller M, Pape HC, Speckmann EJ, Gorji A. Effect of eugenol on spreading depression and epileptiform discharges in rat neocortical and hippocampal tissues. Neuroscience. 2006;140(2):743-751. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2006.02.036

Muralidharan P, Srikanth J. Anti epileptic activity of Morinda citrifolia Linn fruit extract. J Chem. 2010;7(2):612-616.

Muralidharan P, Srikanth J. Anti Epileptic Activity of Morinda citrifolia Linn Fruit Extract. J Chem. 2010;7(2):612-616.

Narwal S, Rana A, Tiwari V, Gangwani S, Sharma R. Review on chemical constituents and pharmacological action of Ocimum kilimandscharicum. Indo Global J Pharm Sci. 2011;1(4):287-293.

Negrelle R, Gomes E. Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf: chemical composition and biological activities. Rev Bra Plant Med. 2007;9(1):80-92.

Noor NM, Kean CW, Vun YL, Mohamed-Hussein ZA. In vitro conservation of Malaysian biodiversity-achievements, challenges and future directions. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Plant. 2010;47(1):26-36. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11627-010-9306-7

Nor FM, Mohamed S, Idris NA, Ismail R. Antioxidative poperties of Pandanus amaryllifolius leaf extracts in accelerated oxidation and deep frying studies. Food Chem. 2008;110(2):319-327. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.02.004

Nor FM, Mohamed S, Idris NA, Ismail R. Antioxidative properties of Pandanus amaryllifolius leaf extracts in accelerated oxidation and deep frying studies. Food Chem. 2008;110(2):319-327. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.02.004

Obahiagbon F. A Review: Aspects of the African Oil Palm (Elaeis guineesis Jacq.) and the Implications of its Bioactives In Human Health. Am J Biochem Mol Biol. 2012;2(3):106-119.

Orellana-Paucar AM, Serruys A-SK, Afrikanova T, Maes J, De Borggraeve W, Alen J, et al. Anticonvulsant activity of bisabolene sesquiterpenoids of Curcuma longa in zebrafish and mouse seizure models. Epilepsy & Behavior. 2012;24(1):14-22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.02.020

Pandey A, Pandey RD, Tripathi P, Gupta PP, Haider J, Bhatt S, et al. Moringa Oleifera Lam.(Sahijan)-a plant with a plethora of diverse therapeutic benefits: an updated retrospection. Medicinal Aromatic Plants. 2012;1(1):101. https://doi.org/10.4172/2167-0412.1000101

Raina AP, Abraham Z, Sivaraj N. Diversity analysis of Kaempferia galanga L. Germplasm from South India using DIVA-GIS Approach. Ind Crop Prod. 2015;69:433-439. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2015.02.052

Schachter SC. Botanicals and herbs: a traditional approach to treating epilepsy. Neurotherapeutics. 2009;6(2):415-420. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nurt.2008.12.004

Sharma J, Gairola S, Gaur R, Painuli R, Siddiqi T. Ethnomedicinal plants used for treating epilepsy by indigenous communities of sub-himalayan region of Uttarakhand, India. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013;150(1):353-370.

Stewart AM, Desmond D, Kyzar E, Gaikwad S, Roth A, Riehl R, et al. Perspectives of zebrafish models of epilepsy: what, how and where next? Brain Res Bull. 2012;87(2):135-143.

Sumanont Y, Murakami Y, Tohda M, Vajragupta O, Watanabe H, Matsumoto K. Prevention of kainic acid-induced changes in nitric oxide level and neuronal cell damage in the rat hippocampus by manganese complexes of curcumin and diacetylcurcumin. Life Sci. 2006;78(16):1884-1891. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2005.08.028

Tandon V, Gupta R. An experimental evaluation of anticonvulsant activity of Vitex-negundo. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2005;49(2):199-205. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16170989

Thakur AK, Chatterjee SS, Kumar V. Adaptogenic potential of andrographolide: an active principle of the king of bitters (Andrographis paniculata). J Tradit Complement Med. 2015;5(1):42-50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcme.2014.10.002

Thakur AK, Chatterjee SS, Kumar V. Neuropsychopharmacology of a therapeutically used Andrographis paniculata extract: a preclinical study. Orient Pharm Exp Med. 2014;14(2):181-191. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13596-013-0140-4

Visweswari G, Siva Prasad K, Lokanatha V, Rajendra W. The Antiepileptic effect of Centella asiatica on the activities of Na/K, Mg and Ca-ATPases in rat brain during pentylenetetrazol-induced epilepsy. Indian J Pharm. 2010;42(2):82-86. https://doi.org/10.4103/0253-7613.64504

Wahab A, Haq RU, Ahmed A, Khan RA, Raza M. Anticonvulsant activities of nutmeg oil of Myristica fragrans. Phytother Res. 2009;23(2):153-158. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.2548

Wijeweera P, Arnason JT, Koszycki D, Merali Z. Evaluation of anxiolytic properties of gotukola - (Centella asiatica) extracts and asiaticoside in rat behavioral models. Phytomedicine. 2006;13(9-10):668-676. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2006.01.011

Yu F, Harada H, Yamasaki K, Okamoto S, Hirase S, Tanaka Y, et al. Isolation and functional characterization of a β-eudesmol synthase, a new sesquiterpene synthase from Zingiber zerumbet Smith. FEBS Lett. 2008;582(5):565-572. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.febslet.2008.01.020

Zaccara G, Perucca P. Prevention and management of side-effects of antiepileptic drugs. The Treatment of Epilepsy: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2015. p. 275-287.

Published
2019-03-23
How to Cite
Choo, B. K. M., Kumari, Y., Hue, S. M. and Shaikh, M. F. (2019) “The treatment of epileptic seizures: the potential of Malaysian medicinal plants”, Neuroscience Research Notes, 1(3), pp. 35-53. doi: 10.31117/neuroscirn.v1i3.27.