Dicoma Anomala Sond [Asteraceae]: A Possible Resource of Future Antimalarial Agents
South Africa has the world’s richest flora with several indigenous plants and a huge indigenous knowledge, while the indigenous Africans have maintained a deep intrinsic cultural belief and trust in their African traditional medicines. Interestingly, this is paralleled by a global increase in the use and demand for natural products . The abundance of indigenous medical knowledge, together with the past successes in the discovery of the plant-derived anti-malarial (i.e., quinine, artemisinin) and the continued global urgent need for effective antimalarial drugs have stimulated more discovery research for novel anti-malarial agents from South African medicinal plants . Dicoma anomala Sond (Asteraceae), one of the commonly used medicinal plants in the southern African region, has drawn much attention to researchers for its medicinal properties against the malaria causing parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. D. anomala is mostly found in stony grasslands on sandy soils. The common ethno medicinally important species of Dicoma include D. anomala, D. capensis, D. schinzii and D. zeyheri. D. anomala Sond is the most commonly used species by the Traditional Health Practitioners (THPs) in the traditional primary health care systems of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa .