About Author:
Namrata Sahu
Gayatri Collage Of Pharmacy,
Sambalpur, Orissa

Present study was carried out to scientifically evaluate the anthelmintic potential of the methanolic extract of leaves of the plant morus alba(L) as it is used by the tribal community of different states and this is also highlighted in traditional uses of the plant. Activity was performed using adult earthworms and albendazole was used as a standard. Various doses (2.5, 5, 10 mg/ml) of methanolic extracts of leaves  were used for the study. From results of the study it is clear that potency of the extracts is inversely proportional to the time taken for paralysis and death of worms. All the tested doses showed significant activity (P<0.01) compared to the standard and activity also confirms dose dependant nature of the extracts.


Infections with parasitic worms are pathogenic for human beings and a large proportion of the world’s population is affected by helminthes. Helminthes infections are among the most common infection in human beings, and a major degenerative dieseace in world today, affected at least 1/3 people world population. Parasitic diseases cause severe morbidity and population in the endemic areas are the worst hit. Existing drugs have adverse effects and their indiscriminate use is leading to resistance of parasites. Also there has been growing interest in the traditional cures of livestock diseases. Plants are known to provide a rich source of botanical anthelmintics, antibacterials and insecticides. A number of medicinal plants have been used to treat parasitic infections in man and animals.

An anthelmintic drug can act by causing paralysis of the worm, or by damaging its cuticle, leading to partial digestion or to rejection by immune mechanisms. Anthelmintic drugs can also interfere with the metabolism of the worm and since the metabolic requirements of these parasites vary greatly from one species to another, drugs that are highly effective against one type of worm can be ineffective against others.

Morus alba plant(moraceae) commonly known as  white mulberry. The white mulberry is a medium large deciduous tree with broad canopy renowned as a shade maker in hot climates. The species is native of china where it’s leaves are used to feed worms used in ancient process of silk making. Strong trunk and branches bear a pleasing grayish-white smooth bark from which it received it’s common name. Cultivation of white mulberry for silkworms began over 400 years ago in china.The whole plant is claimed to possess medicinal properties.

Material and methods

The leaves of the  plant Morus alba (L) was collected from the sector-6, bhilai nagar, Chhattisgarh in month of April-may  and subsequently identified and authenticated by central national herbarium, botanical survey of india, (Howrah) west bangal.

Preparations of extract
Firstly the collected leaves were wash properly and dried in shade then powered to get coarse powder. About 500 gm, of coarse powder was extracted with methanol (40-60oC) by continuous hot percolation using soxhlet apparatus. Then solvent was evaporated to get dried extract and was stored in refrigerator prior to the period of biological investigations. The test sample were prepared at the concentration i.e., (2.5, 5 and 10 mg/ml) in distilled water containing 1 % of Tween80. Suspension of distilled water and 1% of tween80 is used as control.

Phytochemical screening
Phytochemical screening of the plant leaves was carried out as described for alkaloids (Harborne, 1973), steroids and terpenes (Trease and Evan, 1989), flavonoids (Awe and Sodipo, 2001), tannins (Odebiyi and Sofowora, 1978), volatile oil.

Experimental animal
Adult earthworm of the genus and species, pheritima posthuma, was collected from moist soil, and washed out in to normal saline water and the earthworms are divided into five groups.Each groups consisting of six earthworms(approximately equal size) Adult Indian earthworms Pheretima posthuma having anatomical and physiological resemblance with intestinal roundworm parasite of the human being. So Pheretima posthuma were used for present study.

Anthelmintic activity
Three groups each consisting of 5 earthworms of approximately equal size (3-5cm) were released into 25ml of desired formulation taken in 9cm petridishes. Each group was treated with one of the following: vehicle(1% tween 80), Albendazole(10mg/ml) or extracts(2.5,5,10, ml) in normal saline containing 1%tween 80. All the test solutions and standard drug solutions were prepared freshly before use. Observations were made for the time taken for paralysis which was noted when no movement of any sort could be observed except when the worms were shaken vigorously. Time for death of worm was recorded after ascertaining that worm neither moved when shaken vigorously nor when dipped in hot water.

Statistical analysis:
Values in the table are expressed as mean+SEM. Results were analysed by one way ANOVA followed by Dunnett’s test. P<0.01 was considered significant.



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