Antimicrobial wound healing properties of indigenous medicinal plants of Lesotho and the pharmacist's role in minor wound care
Lesotho has a rich supply of indigenous medicinal plant resources. More than a dozen Lesotho medicinal plants have been used to treat minor wound infections among Basotho for over 100 years. The aim is to provide scientific validation of their antimicrobial activities against microorganisms relevant to the skin. The anti infective activities of plants are thought to be due to the presence of active phytochemicals in parts of the plants, especially phenolic compounds, anthraquinones, glycosides, and alkaloids. Although there is limited research that establishes the structure-activity relationship of those phytochemicals, there are reports that attributed the phytochemical constituents with the antimicrobial effects through a variety of mechanisms ranging from inhibition of cytoplasmic membrane function, inhibition of energy metabolism to inhibition of bacterial nucleic acid synthesis. The role of the pharmacist is to provide medical information on these compounds to promote the safe use of herbal products and in combination with conventional medicines.