Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Use of herbal medicine principles in local conditions.

Abstract

Herbal medicine is a growing area of alternative medicine nowadays. Many of the active ingredients in manufactured drugs are derived originally from plant compounds and have a wide range of use. It is believed that plants are more natural, less toxic, and safer than chemical preparations. The use of natural products is becoming more popular since drugs of synthetic origin may have a negative impact on the environment and parasite resistance to poisonous chemicals can develop after repeated applications. Farm trials were carried out to measure the effect of several plant extracts in controlling swine mange mites (Sarcoptes scabiei var. suis). 120 sows showing clinical signs of swine sarcoptosis were used in the trials. Each trial group was allocated as untreated control or treated over the whole body twice at weekly intervals. Scrapings of infested skin from each pig were examined microscopically to determine the number of live mites, eggs, and larvae. Local plants use in this trial were mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), sweet flag (Acorus calamus), nettle (Urtica urens), cow parsley (Heracleum sosnowskyi), garlic (Allium sativum), and juniper (Juniperus communis). Essential medicinal ethereal oils used were black pepper (Piper nigrum), pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), and tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). All the tested plant products were lethal against swine mange mites. Insect reproductive inhibitors and repellents extracted from certain plants affected the reproduction of parasites in all trial variants. In the first posttreatment examination, the number of mites was significantly lower in scrapings from treated pigs. Moreover, a big improvement was noticed in pigs 4 weeks after the treatment. The most active extract of tested local plants was that of sweet flag. After treatments with 10% extract of dried roots, approximately 60-95% of parasites died in 1-4 weeks. The essential ethereal oil of tea tree and the extracts of cow parsley and garlic decreased the number of mites by approximately 75, 40, and 60%, respectively, one week after treatment. It is evident that plant extracts may be used in practice as alternatives to neurotoxic insecticides. Moreover, plant components with insecticidal effects may play a major in the control of swine ectoparasites.