Garcinia lucida Vesque (Clusiaceae): from traditional uses to pharmacopeic monograph for an emerging local plant-based drug development
Objectives: This paper seeks to assess information on the identity, traditional uses, safety and efficacy of Garcinia lucida Vesque (Essok in Boulou and Ewondo local language), in order to highlight it potential as species to be registered in medicinal plant list and formularies needed for the development of monographs leading to local production of phytomedicines.
Methodology and Results: Ethnobotanical survey was carried in the Bipindi-Akom II region (South Cameroon) with the help of interviews based on standardised questionnaires addressed to key-informants. Bark and seeds were the major parts used, highly appreciated due to its properties in preventing consumers from poison, diarrhoea and headaches. The most important therapeutic indications were additive to palm wine, antidote to poisoning, gastritis and snake bite. Other uses in treating included gynaecological pains and infections, sexual diseases and cancers. The bark was also believed by local people to act on the stability of chemical antibiotic drugs in pharmacy, while leaves were used as insect repellent against mosquitoes and cockroaches.
Conclusions and application of findings: As an additive in palm wine processing, poisoning antidote, aphrodisiac and medicines, bark and seeds are widely used in the Bipindi-Lolodorf-Akom II area, in the Centre and South regions of Cameroon, in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, in Central Africa and West Africa. This similarity of use across many regions is considered as important biological activity marker tools guiding plant parts or species selection in drug discovery and development using ethnopharmacological approach. Through the ethnobotanical and biological tests, assessed, accurate information is provided to substantiate safety and efficacy of G. lucida and to satisfy the requirements of official compendia such as pharmacopoeia. Further studies are needed to understand the effects of bark and seeds as additive to palm wine, as well as the interaction between bark and chemical antibiotic drugs.
Keywords: Garcinia lucida, traditional uses, medicinal plant list, monograph, pharmacopoeia, phytomedicine production
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