Aqueous extracts of 66 desert plants of the Negev and Beer Sheva Bedouin market plant products were tested for antitumor, antimalarial (protozoa) and growth inhibition of wheat-rootlet activities. Pteranthus dichotomus, Gypsophila arabica, Achillea fragrantissima, Urginea maritima, and Solanum elaeagnifolium exhibited strong cytotoxicity (above 97%) against cultured melanoma cell lines. Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum, Gypsophila arabica, Hammada scoparia, Trigonella foenum-graecum and Peganum harmala had more than 80% inhibition both in rootlet and melanoma assays. Hammada scoparia, Pulicaria crispa, Centaurea eryngioides, Echinops polyceras, Ephedra aphylla, Teucrium polium, Phlomis brachyodon, Urginea maritima, Ochradenus baccatus, Verbascum fruiticulosum, Corchorus olitorius, and Peganum harmala demonstrated strong growth inhibition (above 96%) of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The plants that were positive for antimelanoma and antimalarial activities have been under further investigation for the isolation and characterization of the anticancer and antimalarial compounds.
- Desert medicinal plants
- Rootlet inhibition