The Jatropha multifada therapy is particularly relevant in the third world countries, because of the current HIV/AIDS pandemic. "Oral candidiasis is one of the most common opportunistic infection associated with HIV/AIDS disease; also, it is the most common muco-cultaneous manifestation and it serves as a market of HIV disease progression. Extensive oral infections can cause difficulty with feeding while esophageal and gastrointestinal infections may lead to vomiting and diarrhoea." Jatropha multifida are small trees or shrubs with smooth gray barks, which exudes whitish coloured watery latex when cut.
Other common names are coral plant and adenoropium multifidum. It normally grows to attain a height between three and seven feet. In addition it grows well in the tropics and can thrive in almost every kind of soil. The use of the juice extracts of Jatropha multifida in the management of oral candidiasis is a common practice, Interestingly, they have associated thrush with malaria and depression of the immune system. Documented predisposing factors to thrush in infants include immunosuppression, malnutrition and unhygienic bottle-feeding practices. All the clinically detected cased of children with oral candidiasis were randomised into either Jatropha multifadum juice extract therapy or the Nystatin group.
The juice extracts from the Jatropha multifida leaves were applied to the tongue and the oral mucosal areas affected by candida lesions as a single application in the patients randomised to this group. Oral Nystatin was administered four times a day, for seven consecutive days to the children randomised to the Nystatin group. The diagnosis of thrush was made clinically in all cases by the researchers after obtaining pertinent history and examination. All cases had their tongues or infected oral mucosa scrapped firmly by applying moderate pressure, using a wooden spatula. Cases in which the whitish materials were scrapped up with consequent cleaning of the underlying tongue or oral mucosa were excluded, while cases that had persistence of white lesions on the oral mucosa were taken to be oral candidiasis.
The diagnosed as cases of thrush were then randomly allocated to treatment with oral Nystatin or Jatropha multifida. A clean cotton wool was then used to absorb the fluid that dripped from the cut leaf or leaf stalk. There after, the soaked cotton wool was then gently applied into the mouth and rubbed gently on the tongue from the back to the front. When the inner cheek and the kips were affected, the soaked cotton wool was applied to these areas. Saliva arising from the cleaning and the removed oral patchs was then discarded, there after the mouth was rinsed.
On the other hand the Nystatin group were treated with the drug, for every six hours, for an internal of one week. The time of clearance of the white lesions post oral application of either Nystatin of Jatropha multifida was then noted. The Jatropha multifida leaf juice extract is effective in the management of thrush and works faster compared to Nystatin.
Its mechanism of action is, however, unknown, as well as the active ingredient responsible for the antifungal action. The drug however, appears relatively safe because of the absence of complications in the present study. No side effects were reported to Nystatin therapy. However, vomiting and diarrhea are some of the known side effects that might arise from Nystatin therapy.
"The Jatropha multifida fruit contain toxins such as toxabulmin ricin. Ingestion of large quantities of this fruit causes severe diarrhea, dehydration, shock and hepatic impairment. Ricin also has cardiotoxic and hemolytic effects and several deaths. On the converse, the roots, stem and leaves of the Jatropha multifida plant possess useful ingredients and activities. The fruits are widely used in traditional folk medicine.
Other chemotherapeutic properties of this plant are used in the treatment of ascites, gout and constipation. "Jatropha multifida is a plant whose juice provides a cure for oral candidiasis. It acts faster compared to Nystatin and compliance on the part of patients is likely to be better since it is a single dose application.
It is recommended for use in communities where it is easily accessible. However, having the anti-fungal activities. This can be selectively extracted and make into oral preparations for general and commercial use.
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