1.1 BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Maytenus senegalensis (Lam) excel is an African shrubs or trees that go under the common name of Red spike-thorn, which belong to the celastraccae family. Maytenus is one of the most frequently used specie of the Maytenus Molina genus in the African traditional medicine (along with M. Obscura, M. peduncularis, M. putterlichwides, M. serrata and M. endata) (Novinger 2011).
More specifically Maytenus senegalensis is traditionally used as anti microbial and anti inflammatory agents i:e. it is used to treat respiratory ailments and inflammation. The use of this anti inflammatory herbal drug is also common in other African countries like Benin, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, Senegal and Zimbabwe. Maytenus senegalensis leaves are also used to treat toothaches in India (Gurib and Muller, 2006).
In Zulu territories and Mozambique the leaves of Maytenus senegalensis are macerated in water to be consumed twice a day for the treatment of tuberculosis.
Recently, the anti-inflammatory activities of Maytenus senegalensis ethanol extract (70%) were determined in Westar albino rats by the carrageenan-induced paw edema method. These extracts exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity (120mg/kg, per os), reducing edema by 51% and 35% respectively. (INatse.Bio/med 2011)