Combating malaria with plant molecules: a brief update

Curr Med Chem. 2014;21(4):458-500. doi: 10.2174/09298673113206660291.


Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases on the planet affecting about 50% of the population worldwide. It is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the developing world. Plasmodium falciparum, a tiny parasite is the major cause of malaria and is possibly the most dangerous stow-away in history. Malaria has become a major economic concern to some of the tropical and sub-tropical countries. Though a number of antimalarials have been developed from plants as such or their semi-synthetic analogues, there is again an alarming situation of drug resistance against most of the antimalarial drugs. Plants have been an excellent source of antimalarial compounds. There are several plant leads exhibiting antimalarial activity better than the existing drugs. A systematic evaluation of these plant based leads is the need of the time to develop safe, effective and affordable new antimalarials. The present review is an update of plant based antimalarial agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimalarials / chemistry*
  • Antimalarials / pharmacology*
  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Malaria / drug therapy*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plants / chemistry*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / drug effects


  • Antimalarials
  • Plant Extracts