Ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry and pharmacological properties of the genus, Kirkia

  • Alfred Maroyi
Keywords: Africa, Ethnobotanical, Isocoumarin, Kirkia species, Lignans, Livelihood needs, Neolignans, Traditional medicine

Abstract

Purpose: To review the phytochemical, ethnopharmacology and traditional uses of the Kirkia species throughout their distributional range.

Methods: The information documented in this article is from scientific journals, books, theses and reports obtained from library collections and electronic search engines such as Google, Google scholar, publishing sites such as Elsevier, ScienceDirect, BioMed Central (BMC), PubMed and other scientific database sites such as ChemSpider and PubChem.

Results: Kirkia species are used as herbal remedies for abdominal pain, cholera, cough, snake bites and toothache in East, Central and Southern Africa. There are similarities in the use of Kirkia species as herbal medicines in Central and Southern Africa in terms of plant parts used, herbal preparation, route of administration and dosage. The chemical composition of Kirkia species is dominated by fatty acids, flavonols, isocoumarin, lignans, neolignans, nor-carotenoids, phenols and tannins isolated from leaves, stem bark and roots. Major biological activities demonstrated by Kirkia species include antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiplasmodial and antiplatelet activities.

Conclusion: Kirkia species are valuable herbal medicines with multiple pharmacological effects. Kirkia extracts and their isolates are potential sources of modern medicines following future detailed studies to elucidate their mechanisms of action, toxicity and clinical trials.

Keywords: Africa, Ethnobotanical, Isocoumarin, Kirkia species, Lignans, Livelihood needs, Neolignans, Traditional medicine

Published
2016-12-07
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996