Turmeric and Fenugreek-Herbal Agents to Alleviate Sickle Cell Disease
Introduction: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic disorder with autosomal recessive inheritance causing abnormal haemoglobin. It is an important medical problem globally as well as in our community at Eastern province of Saudi Arabia. It accounts for large numbers of morbidity and to a lesser extent mortality. Several natural plant products over the world, which were known in some communities and their traditional healers, were studied and found to have properties in improving SCD manifestation. This research was planned to explore if any plant product under our study could prove being an effective anti-sickling agent for therapeutic use in SCD management. Objectives: Studying the effects of some plants on sickled RBCs as well as comparing between efficacies of these different plants. Material and Methods: The 49 fresh whole blood samples, extracted through venipuncture in EDTA tubes, were collected from known SCD patients whose homozygosity was confirmed by haemoglobin electrophoresis. These patients were not on recent blood transfusion or hydroxyurea, and aged 14 years or above of both sexes on clinical follow up. The dried rhizomes of turmeric (curcuma longa) powder and dried seeds flour of fenugreek (trigonella foenum-graecum) were used to evaluate the reversal type of anti-sickling activity on RBCs. Results: Out of 49 blood samples, 28 (57.1%) samples were from males and 21 (42.9%) samples from females. The average (± SD) age of the cases was 28.2 (± 9.97) years with range 14–60 years. Significant anti-sickling activity was found using Turmeric rhizomes extract treatment with 66.81% reversal effect, and 61.28% anti-sickling action when fenugreek seeds extract was used. Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest that turmeric (C. longa) rhizome extract and fenugreek seed extract could have promising anti-sickling properties for SCD treatment.