Background: Plants are rich and cheap source of active phytoconstituents. Present study
was performed in order to authenticate the traditional use of Cocos nucifera in malaria treatment as
well as to search an alternative for drug resistant parasites.
Objective: In the present investigation, ethanolic (ACN) and hydroalcoholic (HACN) extracts of Cocos
nucifera endocarp were evaluated for antimalarial potential as well as subjected to GC-MS
analysis to characterize the bioactive components.
Methods: In vitro antiplasmodial activity of ACN and HACN was assessed against P. falciparum
strains MRC-02 (CQ sensitive) and RKL-09 (CQ resistant) and percentage schizont maturation inhibition
was determined. To confirm the antimalarial potential, in vivo Peter’s 4-Day suppressive test
using P. berghei strain was performed at a dose of 25 and 50 mg/kg/day for 4 consecutive days. Bioactive
components were characterized by the application of Gas chromatography and Mass spectrometric
technique to the extracts.
Results: Promising in vitro antiplasmodial activity was exhibited by both alcoholic (ACN) and hydroalcoholic
(HACN) extracts against P. falciparum strains MRC-02 (CQ sensitive) with IC50 values
< 5 µg/mL. HACN (% Suppression = 75.43 ± 0.18; MST=19.21 days) and ACN (% Suppression =
34.65 ± 0.11; MST=10.11 days) showed moderate in vivo antimalarial activity (p < 0.05) at dose 50
mg/Kg while standard drug chloroquine (8mg/kg) suppressed 100% parasitaemia. Twenty compounds
have been identified and characterized by GC-MS studies.