Pharmacological Review of Plants and Natural Products with Antiepileptic Effects

Eugene Ohams Ohanme *

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

Ogbonnaya Nnabuike Iganga

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

Casimir Chijioke Ofor

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

Uzochukwu Ofonakara

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

Amucheukwu Veronica Nwafor

Department Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

Clementina, Nkiru Eze

Department of Nursing Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Evangel University Akaeze, Ebonyi State Nigeria.

Kenneth Eze Etu

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

Benjamin Nwafocha Nwakelu

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

Chiazor Prince Unekwe

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Both recurrent and spontaneous seizures are indications of epilepsy, a disorder of the brain. Around the world, as many as sixty-five million individuals could be influenced, and 80 percent of cases are found in low-income countries. Medicinal herbs are widely utilized to treat and manage epilepsy and convulsions due to their unique healing properties. Through greater research and clinical use, medicinal plants are gaining attention on a global scale because of their potent therapeutic effects and few adverse effects. The development of innovative plant-based antiepileptic/anticonvulsant medications has drawn a lot of interest from the pharmaceutical industry. This article provides an overview of the study on medicinal plants that have been demonstrated to have antiepileptic and anticonvulsant qualities. It provides pharmacological and molecular mechanism of action data for the crude extracts and related active ingredients evaluated in preclinical research for the treatment of epilepsy and convulsions, and it works as a guide for the development of future pertinent studies in this area. Articles about ethnopharmacological and antiepileptic studies on plants or natural products from the most recent and recent years were obtained from PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus, among other sources, using keywords related to epilepsy, medicinal plants, natural products, etc. Many plant species are commonly utilized in Asian and African countries to treat epilepsy and convulsions. It has also been discovered that natural chemicals derived from these medicinal plants may possess antiepileptic and anticonvulsant qualities. These compounds can be broadly classified as terpenoids, alkaloids, coumarins, flavonoids, and saponins. The antiepileptic capabilities of plant extracts and their active ingredients can be classified according to their ability to affect the GABAergic and glutamatergic systems, act as antioxidants, exhibit anti-neuroinflammatory characteristics, and provide neuroprotection. Additionally, we highlight the potential use of various medicinal plants as a therapeutic intervention for refractory epilepsy, as they may be able to pharmacologically reduce epilepsy and cognitive impairment. The research highlights how herbal remedies used in traditional medicine are a great source of potential candidates for antiepileptic drugs. This demonstrates and validates the antiepileptic and anticonvulsant qualities of various therapeutic herbs, which could inspire further study. To fully comprehend the ideas of metabolic processes, toxicity, clinical trials, structural optimization, and change, further research is still necessary.

Keywords: Epilepsy, anticonvulsants, seizures, natural products, plants, herbal medicine

How to Cite

Ohanme, Eugene Ohams, Ogbonnaya Nnabuike Iganga, Casimir Chijioke Ofor, Uzochukwu Ofonakara, Amucheukwu Veronica Nwafor, Clementina, Nkiru Eze, Kenneth Eze Etu, Benjamin Nwafocha Nwakelu, and Chiazor Prince Unekwe. 2024. “Pharmacological Review of Plants and Natural Products With Antiepileptic Effects”. Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medical Research 25 (7):13-24.


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