• 1 Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University Sains Malaysia, 11800 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. Electronic address:
  • 2 Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Islamic University, Uganda
  • 3 Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Nigeria
  • 4 Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University Sains Malaysia, 11800 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
  • 5 Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), 11800 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
J Ethnopharmacol, 2016 Aug 02;189:253-76.
PMID: 27220655 DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2016.05.049


ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Kigelia africana is a quintessential African herbal medicinal plant with a pan-African distribution and immense indigenous medicinal and non-medicinal applications. The plant is use traditionally as a remedy for numerous disease such as use wounds healing, rheumatism, psoriasis, diarrhea and stomach ailments. It is also use as an aphrodisiac and for skin care.

AIM OF THE REVIEW: The present review aims to compile an up-to-date review of the progress made in the continuous pharmacological and phytochemistry investigation of K. africana and the corresponding commercial and pharmaceutical application of these findings with the ultimate objective of providing a guide for future research on this plant.

METHOD: The scholarly information needed for this paper were predominantly sourced from the electronic search engines such as Google, Google scholar; publishing sites such as Elsevier, scienceDirect, BMC, PubMed; other scientific database sites for chemicals such as ChemSpider, PubChem, and also from online books.

RESULTS: Pharmacological investigations conducted confirm the anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant and anticancer activity of the extract of different parts of the plant. Bioactive constituents are found to be present in all parts of the plant. So far, approximately 150 compounds have been characterized from different part of the plant. Iridoids, naphthoquinones, flavonoids, terpenes and phenylethanoglycosides are the major class of compounds isolated. Novel compounds with potent antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticancer effect such as verbascoside, verminoside and pinnatal among others, have been identified. Commercial trade of K. africana has boosted in the las few decades. Its effect in the maintenance of skin has been recognized resulting in a handful of skin formulations in the market.

CONCLUSIONS: The pharmaceutical potentials of K. africana has been recognized and have witness a surge in research interest. However, till date, many of its traditional medicinal uses has not been investigated scientifically. Further probing of the existential researches on its pharmacological activity is recommended with the end-goal of unravelling the pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, clinical relevance and possible toxicity and side effects of both the extract and the active ingredients isolated.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.