In vitro efficacy of selected medicinal plants from Cholistan desert, Pakistan, against gastrointestinal helminths of sheep and goats

Muhammad Asif Raza, Muhammad Younas, Eva Schlecht


Gastrointestinal helminths are a major constraint to small ruminants in extensive husbandry systems of tropical regions. Yet, unavailability, high prices, side effects, and development of parasite resistance often limit the use of synthetic anthelmintics. Traditional medicinal plants might be an effective low-cost alternative. Therefore the in vitro anthelmintic activity of leaf extracts of the ligneous plants Capparis decidua, Salsola foetida, Suaeda fruticosa, Haloxylon salicornicum, and Haloxylon recurvum from Cholistan, Pakistan, was investigated against adult worms of Haemonchus contortus, Trichuris ovis, and Paramphistomum cervi. Various concentrations (from 7.8 to 500 mg dry matter ml^(−1)) of three extracts (aqueous, methanol, and aqueous-methanol) of each plant were tested at different time intervals for their anthelmintic activity via adult motility assay.
Plant species (p<=0.01), extract type (p<=0.001), parasite species (p<=0.001), extract concentration (p<=0.001), time of exposure (p<=0.001) and their interactions (p<=0.001) affected the number of immobile or dead helminths. The 50% lethal concentration (LC_(50)) values indicated that the methanol and aqueous-methanol extracts of C. decidua, H. recurvum, and H. salicornicum as well as the methanol extract of S. fruticosa have the potential to be developed into plant-based remedies against the studied helminths. Further studies are needed to investigate the in vivo anthelmintic activity of these extracts, in order to develop effective, cheap and locally available anthelmintics for pastoralists in Cholistan and neighbouring desert regions.


anthelmintic activity, Haemonchus contortus, LC50, small ruminants, Trichuris ovis, Paramphistomum cervi

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