Home | About PR | Editorial board | Search | Ahead of print | Current Issue | Archives | Instructions | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact us |   Login 
Pharmacognosy Magazine
Search Article 
Advanced search 

Year : 2010  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 63-68 Table of Contents     

Wound healing properties and kill kinetics of Clerodendron splendens G. Don, a Ghanaian wound healing plant

1 Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa
2 Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa
3 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa

Date of Submission17-Feb-2010
Date of Decision22-Mar-2010
Date of Web Publication03-May-2010

Correspondence Address:
Stephen Y Gbedema
Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa

Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: Government of Ghana, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-8490.62948

Rights and Permissions

As part of our general objective of investigating indigenous plants used in wound healing in Ghana, we hereby report our findings from some in vitro and in vivo studies related to wound healing activities of Clerodendron splendens G. Don (Verbanaceae). Methanolic extract of the aerial parts of the plant was tested for antimicrobial activity against Gram positive bacteria (Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus faecalis, Micrococcus flavus, as well as resistant strains of Staph. aureus SA1199B, RN4220 and XU212), Gram negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteous mirabilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae) and Candida albicans using the micro-well dilution method. Survivor-time studies of the microorganisms, radical scavenging activity using 2,2'-diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and various in vivo wound healing activity studies were also conducted on the extract. The extract exhibited biostatic action against all the test microorganisms with a Minimum Inhibition Concentration (MIC) ranging between 64 and 512 μg/ml and a free radical scavenging property with an IC 50 value of 103.2 μg/ml. The results of the in vivo wound healing tests showed that upon application of C. splendens ointment, there was a reduction in the epithelization period from 26.7 days (control) to 13.6 days along with a marked decrease in the scar area from 54.2 mm 2 (control) to 25.2 mm 2 . Significant increase in the tensile strength and hydroxyproline content were also observed as compared to the control and was comparable to nitrofurazone. The above results appear to justify the traditional use of C. splendens in wound healing and treatment of skin infections in Ghana.

Keywords: Clerodendron splendens, antimicrobial, antioxidant, biostatic, wound healing

How to cite this article:
Gbedema SY, Emelia K, Francis A, Kofi A, Eric W. Wound healing properties and kill kinetics of Clerodendron splendens G. Don, a Ghanaian wound healing plant. Phcog Res 2010;2:63-8

How to cite this URL:
Gbedema SY, Emelia K, Francis A, Kofi A, Eric W. Wound healing properties and kill kinetics of Clerodendron splendens G. Don, a Ghanaian wound healing plant. Phcog Res [serial online] 2010 [cited 2021 May 12];2:63-8. Available from: http://www.phcogres.com/text.asp?2010/2/2/63/62948

   Introduction Top

More than 80% of the world's population depends upon traditional medicines for the management of various diseases including skin infections. [1] Recently, the traditional use of plants for wound healing has received attention by the scientific community. [2] Wound healing is a complex process characterized by homeostasis, re-epithelization, granulation tissue formation and remodeling of the extracellular matrix. [3] Although the healing process progresses naturally, an infection can seriously delay this healing process by prolonging the inflammatory phase, disrupting the normal clotting mechanisms, promoting disordered leukocyte function and ultimately delaying angiogenesis. [4] Therefore, a variety of activities such as tensile strength and collagen estimation of healing tissue, antioxidant and antimicrobial effects can explain the traditional use of a plant for helping the wounds to heal. [2]

Clerodendron splendens G. Don (family: Verbenaceae) is a climbing shrub, mostly found growing on cultivated lands between food crops in Ghana and other West African countries. Carbohydrates, glycosides, unsaturated sterols, triterpenoids and flavonoids are reported to be present in the leaves, [5] in addition to volatile oil in the flowers. [6] The plant is used ethnomedicinally in Ghana for the treatment of vaginal thrush, bruises, wounds and various skin infections. [7] In this study, we provide scientific evidence for the use of this plant in the traditional treatment of some infectious conditions and in wound healing.

   Materials and Methods Top

Collection of plant material

The plant was collected from Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana in July 2007 and was authenticated at the Department of Pharmacognosy, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. A voucher specimen (FP/07/0032) has been kept in the herbarium of the Department.

Extraction and phytochemical screening

The plant material was air-dried at room temperature for 7 days and milled into coarse powder using a Laboratory Mill Machine (Type 8, Christy & Norris, UK). Two hundred grams of the powder was cold-macerated with one litre methanol (Sigma-Aldrich, USA) over 48 h. The extract was concentrated under reduced pressure using the rotary evaporator and dried over nitrogen to give a yield of 12.3 g.

The methanolic extract was phytochemically screened for carbohydrates, tannins, saponin, anthraquinones, cardiac and cyanogenic glycosides, flavonoids and alkaloids using the procedures outlined by Wall et al[8] and Harbon. [9]

Test organisms

The bacteria used for the tests were obtained from the National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC), UK. The Gram positive bacteria used were Bacillus subtilis (NCTC 10073), Staphylococcus aureus (NCTC 4163) Streptococcus faecalis (NCTC 775), Micrococcus flavus (NCTC 7743), as well as resistant strains of S. aureus SA1199B, RN4220 and XU212. The Gram negative bacteria used were  Escherichia More Details coli (NCTC 9002), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (NCTC 10662), Proteous mirabilis (NCTC 10975) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (NCTC 418). Candida albicans (NCPF 3179) was also used.

Minimum inhibitory concentration determination

Inocula of the microorganisms were prepared from a 24 h Mueller-Hinton Broth (Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO, USA) cultures and suspensions were adjusted to 10 5 colony forming units per ml (cfu/ml). Minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) values of the extract were determined based on a micro-well dilution method. [10] The 96-well sterile plates were prepared by dispensing 180 μl of the inoculated broth plus a 20-μl aliquot of the plant extract made up in broth or 20 μl broth in the case of negative control in each well. Neomycin and tetracycline (Sigma-Aldrich, USA) were included as positive controls for bacteria and clotrimazole for C. albicans. Plates were covered and incubated for 24 h at 37°C. Bacterial growth was determined after the addition of 50 μl p-iodonitrotetrazolium violet (0.2 mg/ml, Sigma).

Survival-time studies

Mid-logarithmic phase cultures of the organisms were transferred into 50-ml portions of prewarmed Mueller-Hinton broth containing MIC, 2Χ MIC and 4Χ MIC concentrations of the extract, to yield final concentrations of 10 5 cfu/ml. The broths were maintained, with agitation, on a water bath at 37 °C.

Aliquots (1 ml) were withdrawn after 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12 and 24 h and appropriately diluted in Mueller-Hinton broth to neutralize the effect of the extract and viable counts determined by pour plate techniques. Each of the diluted culture suspensions (1 ml) was added to sterile  Petri dish More Detailses and approximately 20 ml, melted and cooled (45° C), Mueller-Hinton agar was added and mixed. Control broths containing 1% v/v Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) were also set up for each test organism. All experiments were performed in triplicates. Colonies were counted and the number of survivors was calculated after incubation at 37°C for 48 h. Survivor-time curves were drawn for the test organisms, exposed to the various concentrations, as well as the control.

Antioxidant activity

The method of Yoshida et al.[11] as outlined in detail [12] was used to determine the free radical scavenging activity of the C. splendens extract. Quantities of 0.5 ml of various concentrations of the extract in methanol were added to 5 ml of a 0.004% methanol solution of 2,2′-diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH). This was incubated at room temperature for 30 min after which absorbance (Ai ) was read against a blank (A0) at 517 nm on a UV Spectrophotometer (Cecil, 2000 series). l-ascorbic acid was employed as a control and the inhibition of free radical DPPH, in percentage was calculated as: Scavenging activity (%) = (A0 - Ai / A0) Χ 100.

The IC 50 value was calculated through extrapolation from linear analysis, using the Prism Software (version 4, Santiago California). This denoted the concentration of extract required to scavenge 50% of DPPH radicals.


Male Sprague-Dawley rats (170-190 g) were purchased from Noguchi Memorial Research Institute, Accra, Ghana. They were kept at 26 ± 2° C and a relative humidity of 44-55%, light and dark cycles of 10 and 14 h, respectively, for 1 week before the experiment. Animals were given the rodent diet and water ad libitum. All studies were conducted in accordance with the National Institute of Health's guideline for Survival Rodent Surgery (1985) after approval from the Institutional Ethics Committee. All surgical procedures were carried out under thiopentone sodium (25 mg/kg, i.p.) anesthesia. Animals were allowed to recover and were housed individually in metallic cages containing sterilized paper cuttings.

In the experiment, the rats were divided into three groups (n = 6). Group 1 was the control group which received simple ointment BP base. Group 2 was treated with the reference drug (0.2% w/w nitrofurazone, a standard antimicrobial agent used in topical wound dressings). Group 3 received C. splendens ointment (33.3% w/w C. splendens extract in Simple Ointment BP) topically on wounds that were created on the dorsal back of rats daily until the wounds completely healed. [13],[14] One hundred milligrams of ointment was spread over 500 mm 2 area.

Excision wound model

An impression was applied on the dorsal thoracic region 1 cm away from the vertebral column and 5 cm away from the ear using a biopsy punch (Acuderm, Florida, USA) of 2.5 cm diameter, on the anesthetized rat. The skin of the impressed area was excised to its full thickness to obtain a wound area of about 500 mm 2 . Hemostasis was achieved by blotting the wound with a cotton swab soaked in normal saline.

Wound area

Contractions, which contribute to wound closure in the first 2 weeks, were studied by tracing the raw wound. The wound area was measured after specific time intervals by retracing the wound on a millimetre-scale graph paper. The difference in the area of the wound indicated the degree of wound healing. [15]

Collagen estimation

Hydroxyproline constituent of collagen was measured. [16] Healed tissues of the wounds were cut and dried in hot air oven at 60-70° C to constant weights and hydrolyzed in 6 M HCl at 130° C for 4 h in sealed tubes. The hydrolyzate was neutralized (to pH 7.0) and subjected to chloramine-T oxidation for 20 min. The reaction was terminated by addition of 0.4 M perchloric acid and color was developed with the help of Ehrlich reagent at 60° C and measured at 557 nm using the spectrophotometer (Cecil, 2000 series).

Incision wound model

Rats were anesthetized and two paravertebral long incisions made through the skin and cutaneous muscles at a distance of about 1.5 cm from the midline on each side of their depilated back. Aseptic techniques were not applied and no local or systemic antimicrobial was used throughout the experiment. [17] Each of the three groups of animals was treated in the same manner as for the excision wound model. The parted skin was kept together by stitching with a black silk surgical thread (No. 000) and a curved needle (No. 11). Continuous threads on both wound edges were tightened for good wound closure. Group 1 animals (controls) were treated topically with simple ointment base BP whilst groups 2 and 3 received C. splendens extract [CS] and nitrofurazone ointments respectively twice a day for 9 days.

Tensile strength

The tensile strength of a wound represents the degree of wound healing, so wound healing agents usually provide a gain in tensile strength. [18] The sutures were removed on the ninth day of the wound and the tensile strength measured on the 10th day. The animals were anesthetized and strips of healing tissue (8 mm width and 20 mm long) along with normal skin at the two ends were excised. The tensile strength was measured by loading a strip between the upper and lower holders of the Tensile Testing Machine TKG-20 (Fine Testing Machines. India) in such a way that the effective load bearing size was 8 Χ 8 mm with the wound remaining in the centre. [19] The total breaking load was measured in Newtons and the tensile strength was calculated from the following equation:

Tensile strength = total breaking load/cross-sectional area

The mean tensile strength of the two paravertebral incisions on both sides of the animals was taken as the measure of the tensile strength of the wound for an individual animal. The tensile strength of C. splendens ointment-treated wounds was compared with the control and nitrofurazone ointment as the standard. Further, epithelization period and scar area were measured daily for 25 days after tensile strength determination. [15]

   Results and Discussion Top

Preliminary phytochemical analysis showed the presence of reducing sugars, phytosterols, tannins, terpenoids, alkaloids and flavonoids in the extract of C. splendens. The extract exhibited very good antibacterial and antifungal activities against the microorganisms tested with the MIC ranging from 64 to 256 μμg/ml against the wild-type organisms [Table 1].

The MIC of the extract against the resistant organisms were however, higher. The controls used (tetracycline and neomycin) recorded very low MICs thus confirming their superiority over the plant extract as an antimicrobial agent. The means of survivors obtained at each concentration plated for each organism are graphically presented and samples are as shown in [Figure 1] for S. aureus, P. aeruginosa and C. albicans. The graphs of the other test organisms (not shown) followed similar partten. All the organisms exhibited a decline in survivors in the first 4-6 h of exposure to the extract in concentration-dependent manner whilst the controls showed a steady rise in population within these same periods, followed by some level of recovery of the organisms even at higher concentrations. This depicts biostatic mode of action of the extract. The recoveries may be due to inactivation of the bioactive constituents of the extract with time when in the nutrient medium. This might have necessitated the daily collection of this herb for treatment by the local herbal practitioners.

DPPH free radical scavenging test conducted on the extract recorded an IC 50 of 103.2 μg/ml. This value is about 5 times higher than what was recorded for l-ascorbic acid (IC 50 21.4 μg/ml) the standard antioxidant [20] employed in this study but it is an indication that C. splendens possesses antioxidant property. Free radicals such as molecular oxygen play a vital role in the pathogenesis and therapy of wounds. Overproduction of these reactive oxygen species in the body results in oxidative stress thereby causing cytotoxicity and delayed wound healing. [21] C. splendens therefore appears to play a useful role in promoting wound healing due to its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

The results of the in vivo wound healing tests showed that upon application of C. splendens ointment, there was a reduction in the epithelization period from 26.7 days (control) to 13.6 days along with a marked decrease in the scar area from 54.2 mm 2 (control) to 25.2 mm 2 [Table 2]. Significant increase in the tensile strength and hydroxyproline content were observed as compared to the control. The percentage closure of excision wound area, which was an indication of degree of wound contraction, showed that C. splendens extract significantly promoted wound contraction (69.2%) in 7 days as compared to the control (46.2%) and nitrofurazole (67.5%) [Table 3].

As the wound healing process involves various phases, the use of a single model is inadequate and no in vitro experiment exists that can collectively represent the various components of wound healing. Because of this, in vivo assays are highly recommended to confirm the in vitro observations. Some of the in vivo assays of significance include the determination of tensile strength, which is an indication of quality of the healing, and the determination of hydroxyproline content. Collagen is a major protein in the extracellular matrix and is the component that ultimately contributes to wound strength. Breakdown of collagen liberates free hydroxyproline. Measurement of the hydroxyproline could be used as an index for collagen turnover. In the present study, a significant increase in the hydroxyproline content of the granulation tissue of the animals treated with C. splendens extract was recorded compared to the control group, thus indicating the positive effect of the extract on collagen synthesis and hence, on wound healing. The increase in tensile strength of the granulation tissue indicated enhanced collagen maturation by increased cross-linking. The increase in tensile strength, as well as the epithelization, could be attributed to the increased hydroxyproline content in the wound tissue.

   Conclusions Top

It has been demonstrated that C. splendens extract exhibits antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties and this has provided scientific basis for its folkloric use in the treatment of various infectious conditions and wound healing. The wound healing potential which was confirmed by the in vivo experiments further supports the ethnomedicinal use of the plant.

   Acknowledgement Top

The authors are grateful to the Government of Ghana for providing funds for the study.

   References Top

1.Steenkamp V, Mathivha E, Gouws MC, van Rensburg CE. Studies on antibacterial, antioxidant and fibroblast growth stimulation of wound healing remedies from South Africa. J Ethnopharmacol 2004;95:353-7.  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.Houghton PJ, Hylands PJ, Mensah AY, Hensel A, Deters AM. In vitro tests and ethnopharmacological investigations: Wound healing as an example. J Ethnopharmacol 2005;100:100-7.  Back to cited text no. 2      
3.Priya KS, Gnanamani A, Radhakrishnan N, Babu M. Healing potential of Datura alba on burn wounds in albino rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;83:193-9.  Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Annan K, Dickson RA. Evaluation of wound healing actions of Hoslundia opposita Vahl, Anthocleista nobilis G. Don and Balanites aegyptiaca L. J Sci Tech 2008;28:26-35.  Back to cited text no. 4      
5.Shehata AH, Yousif MF, Soliman GA. Phytochemical and Pharmacological investigation of Clerodendron splendens G. Don growing in Egypt. Egypt J Biomed Sci 2001;7:145-63.  Back to cited text no. 5      
6.el-Deeb KS. The volatile constituents in the absolute of Clerodendron splendens G Don flower oil. Bull Fac Pharm Cairo Univ 2003;41:259-63.  Back to cited text no. 6      
7.Irvine FR. Woody plants of Ghana. 1 st ed. UK: Oxford University Press; 1961. p. 74.  Back to cited text no. 7      
8.Wall ME, Eddy CR, McClenna ML, Klump ME. Detection and estimation of steroids and sapogenins in plant tissue. Anal Chem 1952;24:1337-42.  Back to cited text no. 8      
9.Harborne JB. Phytochemical methods: A guide to modern techniques of plant analysis. London: Chapman and Hall; 1973. p. 279.  Back to cited text no. 9      
10.Eloff JN. A sensitive and quick microplate method to determine the minimal inhibitory concentration of plant extracts for bacteria. Planta Med 1998;64:711-3.  Back to cited text no. 10      
11.Yoshida T, Mori K, Hatano T, Okumura T, Uehara I, Komagoe K, et al. Studies on inhibition mechanism of autoxidatoin by tannins and flavonoids: Radical scavenging effects of tannins and related polyphenols on 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical. Chem Pharm Bull 1989;37:19-21.  Back to cited text no. 11      
12.Annan K, Houghton PJ. Antibacterial, antioxidant and fibroblast growth stimulation of aqueous extracts of Ficus asperifolia Miq. and Gossypium arboreum L., wound-healing plants of Ghana. J Ethnopharmacol 2008;119:141-4.  Back to cited text no. 12      
13.Singh M, Govindarajan R, Nath V, Rawat AK, Mehrotra S. Antimicrobial, wound healing and antioxidant activity of Plagiochasma appendiculatum Lehm. et Lind. J Ethnopharmacol 2006;107:67-72.  Back to cited text no. 13      
14.Chattergee K, Chakravorty A. Wound healing properties of the new antibiotics (MT81) in mice. Indian Drugs 1993;30:450-2.   Back to cited text no. 14      
15.Werner S, Breeden M, Hόbner G, Greenhalgh DG, Longaker MT. Induction of keratinocyte growth factor expression is reduced and delayed during wound healing in the genetically diabetic mouse. J Invest Dermatol 1994;103:469-73.  Back to cited text no. 15      
16.Shukla A, Rasik AM, Jain GK, Shankar R, Kulshrestha DK, Dhawan BN. In vitro and in vivo wound healing activity of asiaticoside isolated from Centella asiatica. J Ethnopharmacol 1999;65:1-11.  Back to cited text no. 16      
17.Udupa AI, Kurkani DR, Udupa SL. Effect of Tridax procumbens extracts on wound healing. Int J Pharmacol 1995;33:37-40.  Back to cited text no. 17      
18.Govindarajan R, Vijayakumar M, Rao CV, Shirwaikar A, Mehrotra S, Pushpangadan P. Healing potential of Anogeissus latifolia for dermal wounds in rats. Acta Pharm 2004;54:331-8.  Back to cited text no. 18      
19.Perez Gutierrez RM, Vargas SR. Evaluation of the wound healing properties of Acalypha langiana in diabetic rats. Fitoterapia 2006;77:286-9.  Back to cited text no. 19      
20.Bizimenyera ES, Aderogba MA, Eloff JN, Swan GE. Potential of neuroprotective antioxidant- based therapeutics from Peltophorum africanum Sond (Fabaceae). Afr J Trad Comp Alt Med 2007;4:99-106.  Back to cited text no. 20      
21.Somashekar S, Saraswati U, Laxminarayana U. Evaluation of antioxidant and wound healing effects of alcoholic and aqueous extracts of Ocimum sanctum L. in rats. eCAM 2008;5:95-101.  Back to cited text no. 21      


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]

This article has been cited by
1 Review: African medicinal plants with wound healing properties
Christian Agyare,Yaw Duah Boakye,Emelia Oppong Bekoe,Andreas Hensel,Susana Oteng Dapaah,Theresa Appiah
Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2016; 177: 85
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 In VivoAnti-CandidaActivity of Phenolic Extracts and Compounds: Future Perspectives Focusing on Effective Clinical Interventions
Natália Martins,Lillian Barros,Mariana Henriques,Sónia Silva,Isabel C. F. R. Ferreira
BioMed Research International. 2015; 2015: 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Immunomodulatory activity of polysaccharides isolated from Clerodendrum splendens: Beneficial effects in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
Kouakou, K. and Schepetkin, I.A. and Jun, S. and Kirpotina, L.N. and Yapi, A. and Khramova, D.S. and Pascual, D.W. and Ovodov, Y.S. and Jutila, M.A. and Quinn, M.T.
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2013; 13(149)
4 Wound healing potential of aqueous crude extract of stevia rebaudiana in mice
Das, K.
Brazilian Journal of Pharmacognosy. 2013; 23(2): 351-357
5 Wound healing potential of formulated extract from hibiscus sabdariffa calyx
Builders, P. and Kabele-Toge, B. and Builders, M. and Chindo, B. and Anwunobi, P. and Isimi, Y.
Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2013; 75(1): 45-52
6 Wound healing potential of aqueous crude extract of Stevia rebaudiana in mice
Kuntal Das
Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia. 2013; 23(2): 351
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
7 Immunomodulatory activity of polysaccharides isolated from Clerodendrum splendens: Beneficial effects in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
Koffi Kouakou,Igor A Schepetkin,SangMu Jun,Liliya N Kirpotina,Ahoua Yapi,Daria S Khramova,David W Pascual,Yury S Ovodov,Mark A Jutila,Mark T Quinn
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2013; 13(1): 149
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
8 Potential wound healing activity of the ethanolic extract of Solanum xanthocarpum schrad and wendl leaves
Dewangan, H. and Bais, M. and Jaiswal, V. and Verma, V.K.
Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2012; 25(1): 189-194
9 Editorial: Looking backward to find the path forward
Furey, A., Kingston, R.
Pharmacognosy Research. 2010; 2(3): 121-124


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
    Materials and Me...
    Results and Disc...
    Article Figures
    Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded417    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 9    

Recommend this journal