Anti-giardial activity of gastrointestinal remedies of the Luo of east Africa

J Ethnopharmacol. 1995 Apr;46(1):17-23. doi: 10.1016/0378-8741(95)01224-2.


Activity in an in vitro assay with Giardia lamblia provided a test of the validity of a quantitative methodology used in an ethnobotanical survey of the Luo people of the Lake Victoria basin of Kenya and Tanzania. Forty-five taxa of remedies for gastrointestinal problems were reported by four or more independent informants and a log-linear model was used to calculate a statistical measure of informant consensus. Methanolic extracts of 21 of 36 taxa assayed were lethal or inhibited growth of Giardia trophozoites at 1000 ppm; 7 species were lethal at 500 ppm. Non-cathartic species are more likely to be active than cathartics. Lethal species of non-cathartics are reported by informants more frequently than non-lethal species although the lack of statistical significance did not provide satisfactory support for the validity of the quantitative methodology as a predictor of efficacious remedies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Giardia lamblia / drug effects
  • Giardiasis / drug therapy*
  • Giardiasis / parasitology
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Kenya
  • Linear Models
  • Medicine, Traditional*
  • Methanol / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Tanzania


  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Methanol