Wound healing is a fundamental response to tissue injury and several natural products have been shown to accelerate the healing process. The present study was undertaken to determine the safety and efficacy of the topical treatment of acetone leaf extracts of Combretum imberbe, Combretum nelsonii,
Combretum albopuntactum and Terminalia sericea based on their in vitro antimicrobial activity. Four circular full-thickness skin wounds were made on the backs of eight anaesthetised Wistar rats using aseptic techniques. The treatments were administrated topically using 10% and 20% concentrations of each extract in aqueous cream in separate treatments. Indications of erythema, exudate, crust
formation, swelling and ulceration were used to determine the wound healing process. All of the wounds closed completely within 17 days. Throughout the experiment, a subcutaneous probe was
used to determine that the body temperature and body weight of the rats were within the normal range. C. imberbe and C. nelsonii extracts accelerated wound healing, but there was no significant difference in wound contraction using 10% and 20% concentrations of the extracts in cream. The
results also showed the potential usefulness of this model to measure accelerating wound healing. The extracts could perhaps overcome defects associated with healing failure in chronic wounds
and prevent secondary bacterial and fungal infections.