Natural Products Chemistry & Research

ISSN - 2329-6836


Medicinal and Economic Values of Forest Products in the Treatment of Cancer in Southwest Nigeria

Oluwakemi Osunderu

Medicinal plants are used to address the twin problems of promoting sustainable livelihoods and treatment of numerous illnesses in Nigeria. The study examined the medicinal value of forest products in the treatment of cancer in South-west Nigeria. Primary data was obtained in a cross-section survey of 327 respondents comprising 127 Traditional Medicine Practitioners (TMPs), 100 Orthodox Medicine Practitioners (OMPs) and 100 respondents from the General Public drawn by multistage sampling technique from the study area. Interview schedule was used in collection of data on the effectiveness of forest products in cancer treatment. The result showed that seven species were identified belonging to seven different families; Rutaceae, Asteraceae, Anarcardiaceae, Annonaceae, Meliaceae, Guttiferaceae and Leguminaceae topped the TMPs priority list. Result of economic analysis shows minimal competition in the anti-cancer forest product market and a high level of monopoly with a Gini coefficient of 0.83. The rate of return on investment was 180.08% indicating that the TMPs were making profit. Five of the plants were tested against cancer cell lines MCF7 and Hs578T while Doxorubicin (a synthetic anticancer drug) was used as the control treatment. Three plants: Saccharum offinarum (Stem), Sucurinega virosa (Root) and Piper guineensii (Seed) produced no result; Garcinia kola (Bark) did not exhibit any anticancer effect even at a concentration of 10 μ1/m1 while only one plant species was effective against the cancer cell line at 1 μ1/m1. It is therefore concluded that forest products are effective in the treatment of cancer.