Bioactive compounds in a Manayi traditional medicinal product from East London
In Africa, herbal medicines are often used as primary treatments for a variety of ailments and diseases including HIV/AIDS and for HIV-related problems. In general, traditional medicines are not well researched scientifically in controlled studies, and are poorly regulated. Since the pharmacological effectiveness of natural products is affected by several native and foreign factors, studies on the variations of chemical composition and biological activity of these medicines are necessary. The processes of investigating plants to identify chemical substances are of great interest to natural product researchers because there is a need to discover new drugs for treating old and new diseases. These facts underscore an urgent need to develop new anti HIV and AIDS drugs with fewer or no side effects. Research into drug discovery and development using natural products is increasingly becoming better established. Marine organisms as a source of natural products delivered numerous novel compounds with multiple pharmacological properties. Natural products give endless opportunities for discovering novel compounds that can be used as drugs or backbones of drug leads. Manayi is a natural product that has been used to treat and manage people with HIV, but no scientific studies have been done to prove its efficacy on the HIV under controlled conditions. For the purposes of this study, cooked and uncooked Manayi product was evaluated for its efficacy on HIV in vitro. Manayi samples were collected in East London, Eastern Cape and sequentially extracted with hexane, chloroform, dichloromethane, butanol, methanol, and water as a series of increasingly polar solvents for its bioactive chemical constituents.