A study on the effectiveness of Jatropha multifids latex in treating wounds was conducted. White mice were used as test subjects. The test subjects were distributed into three treatment groups, with each group having three test subjects. An incision measuring approximately 1 cm long was made on each test subject. The first group was treated with a leading antiseptic, Betadine, the second group with Jatropha multifida, and the third group, the control group, did not receive any treatment. The wounds were treated and observations were recorded daily. Bacterial counts were also performed on the swab samples taken from the wounds on the first, third and fifth day. The results of the bacterial count revealed that there was no significant difference between the Jatropha multifida and Betadine in preventing bacterial growth. Qualitative observations of wound size and healing time showed that Jatropha multifida latex is as effective as Betadine in treating wounds. Statistical tests also revealed that the latex can hasten healing of wounds.
The high cost of commercial medicine has made people resort to medicinal plants to treat different ailments. The researchers studied the coral tree or mana, known for its ability to treat wounds. This study was inspired by a previous research on the latex's antimicrobial properties, conducted at the University of Santo Tomas. The main problem is concerned with the latex's ability to treat wounds, its effect on healing time and ability to reduce bacterial presence.
If found to be effective, the coral tree latex may be used as a cheap alternative source of antiseptic. People who cannot afford commercial antiseptic and those living in places where medicine is not available will benefit greatly from this study.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
A wound is a traumatic disruption of the continuity of the skin or any body tissue. Wound infections occur as complications of trauma or disease that may break or interrupt a mucosal skin or surface. The nature and extent of the infecting flora depends on the nature of the body micro-flora on the object responsible for the wound, the condition of the environment during infection, and the nature of any surface covering (such as clothing) through which the wound was made. The development of wound infection is influenced by the nature of the contaminating flora, the depth of the wound, the nature of treatment given to the wound and the immunity of the host to the contaminating organism or their organisms. Wound healing is a complex physio-chemical process that is not fully understood. After a wound has been made, several changes occur simultaneously. Bleeding either stops by itself or is controlled by other means, such as bandaging. If the surfaces of the wound are in fairly close contact, the space is filled with blood and other tissue juices, which, in addition to other functions, effectively seal the wound. The action of proteins and formation of new connective tissues result in the healing of the wound. Local factors that affect healing include the type and location of the wound, amount of dead tissues, number and kind of dead bacteria, type of foreign bodies present, blood supply to the wounded part and the treatment given. The general body factors that affect healing include age, presence of certain diseases, and nutrition. Betadine is an antiseptic which can be purchased without need for a prescription. Its active ingredient is Povidone-iodine. Betadine is a broad-spectrum microbicide for topical use in wounds, cuts, abrasions and bums. It is also used as a disinfectant before and after an operation. Jatropha multifida or coral plant has several common names which include mana for the Tagalogs and Tubang Amerikano for the Bikolanos. The plant has huge, deeply-cut leaves with about 11 lobes and bears small coral-red clusters of flowers. Its sap is used for treating wounds and...