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Background: Plants are rich sources of many natural products which have being extensively used for treatment of various infections. Jatropha curcas, a perennial plant belonging to Euphorbiacae family has been used medicinally to cure various diseases including skin infections. Toxicities and failure in treatment have been reported variously in literature to most synthetic dermatological formulations, hence there is the need to search for safe and effective alternatives. The present study aims at extracting Jatropha curcas leaves, formulating the extract into an ointment and evaluating the ointment.
Methods: Pulverized leaves of Jatropha curcas were extracted using methanol and the extract was later formulated into an ointment with paraffin ointment BPC as a base. The extract and the ointment at concentrations 0, 2.5, 5, 7.5 and 10% w/w were tested against Trichophyton tonsurans and Trichophyton interdigitale, common dermatophytes often implicated in skin infections. Whitfield ointment was used as a reference standard.
Results: The results showed the presence of flavonoids, saponins and tannins as secondary metabolites. The plant extract had mean inhibition zones of 12.00, 16.25 , 18.35 mm against Trichophyton interdigitale and 12.25, 18.35 , 24.50 mm against Trichophyton tonsurans (p=0.905) respectively at concentrations 5, 7.5, and 10.0% used for ointment formulations. The ointment formulations at all concentrations did not show any activity while Whitfield ointment a reference standard had inhibition zones of 36 .50 and 38.50 mm against the tested organisms respectively.
Conclusion: Notwithstanding the inhibitory failure of the ointment formulations, the extract exhibited a promising antifungal potentials.
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