Crinum is a traditional herb that belongs to family Amaryllidaceae, which is a globally spread family containing about 90 genera and 1310 species. Crinum species have built a considerable reputation as potent folkloric remedies with their use being realized from ancient times in Africa, tropical Asia and South America, where they are said to show supposed habitat preferences. However, there has been uncertainty in numbering African taxa for crinum due to the difficulty in naming species correctly, as well as the high possibility of hybridization among the different species. As such, only around 35 of the 130 known species have been extensively studied. Cytological, pharmacological and toxicological investigations of crinums have exhibited a vast array of biological activities including but not limited to: analgesic, antiinflammatory, anticholinesterase, antiallergic, antianaphylaxis, immunological and antitumor.
A literature search reveals numerous vernacular names for crinum across Africa, which signifies a long-term active interest of the native communities in Crinums as a traditional medicine. Pain, in any of its forms (acute, chronic, visceral, inflammatory and neuropathic) is a global health problem that often has debilitating effects on the quality of life and work. The use of traditional medicine is still a common practice in Northern Uganda, owing to the persistent confidence of the local people in its efficiency in disease treatment and management, as well as its accessibility and affordability. Additionally, there are inadequate health services with long distances to the few available health centres.
Crinum is used traditionally in districts of northern Uganda such as Lira, Apac, Nwoya, Oyam and Kole as a topical application for pain relief by crushing and securing poultice using leaves, or by smearing sap onto the affected area. However, the therapeutic value of this particular plant extract has not been confirmed by any known chemical or physiological studies.
Therefore, this study aims to determine the analgesic properties of crinum plant extract and thus determine its effectiveness in pain management. It will in turn inform policy implementation within the local communities, which aligns with topic 7 of this conference.