Medicinal Plants Used in The Management of Epilepsy in Nigeria: A Review of Potential Targets for Drug Discovery


  • Abubakar Sadiq Wada Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
  • Abubakar Rabiu Abdullahi Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
  • Abubakar Sule Danbatta Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
  • Mustapha Mohammed School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
  • Mubarak Hussaini Ahmad Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna, Nigeria
  • Sani Malami 1Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
  • Abdullahi Hamza Yaro 1Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria


Ethnobotanical studies, Review, Maximal electroshock seizure test, Pentylenetetrazol, Medicinal plants, Epilepsy


Background: Medicinal plants are continuously used to manage epilepsy and other neurological isorders. They provide major promising targets in pursuit of new drugs and lead compounds that are affffordable, available and accessible to treat the debilitating  neurological condition. Several experimental models employed to screen for seizures in laboratory animals provide benefificial  information concerning diagnoses, treatment and possible prevention of the disease. This review aims to identify  medicinal plants used in the management of epilepsy in Nigeria and to explore pharmacological basis to support their ethnobotanical  claims. 

Methods: Literature searches of relevant articles in electronic databases including PubMed, African journal online, Google Scholar and  ScienceDirect databases were carried out, and information about how these medicinal plants are used traditionally in the management  of epilepsy and other diseases in Nigeria were also obtained. Only studies conducted within Nigeria on medicinal plants  tested for seizures and epilepsy between 2000 and 2022 were included. 

Results: We identifified sixty-eight (68) medicinal plants spanning across several families majorly Agavaceae, Amaryllidaceae,  Annonaceae, Apocynaceae, Asteraceae, Bignoniaceae, Burseraceae, Compositae, Convolvulaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Lamiaceae,  Leguminosae, Loranthaceae, Moraceae and Rubiaceae, that have been reported to contain bioactive compounds active against  seizures using various pharmacological screening models. Plants that have not been fully studied and their main mechanisms of action  not ascertained were recorded. We also identifified those plants with unknown active constituents responsible for their activity.  The review also identifified potential medicinal plants for future studies of new as well as alternative therapies for the management of  epilepsy and other neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. 

Conclusions: This review provided evidence on the use of medicinal plants in the management of epilepsy and possibly rationalized  the use of these plant extracts as alternatives in treating seizures and epilepsy.    

Author Biography

Mustapha Mohammed, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia


Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna, Nigeria 


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How to Cite

Wada, A. S., Abdullahi, A. R., Danbatta, A. S., Mohammed, M., Ahmad, M. H., Malami, S., & Yaro, A. H. (2023). Medicinal Plants Used in The Management of Epilepsy in Nigeria: A Review of Potential Targets for Drug Discovery: The Nigerian Journal of Pharmacy, 57(1), 547–569. Retrieved from

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