Utilization of Bridelia mollis as herbal medicine, nutraceutical and functional food in southern Africa: A review
Purpose: To evaluate the functional food, nutraceutical and ethnomedicinal properties of Bridelia mollis throughout its geographical range.
Methods: Retrieval of information on the medicinal, nutraceutical and functional food properties of B. mollis was undertaken using electronic databases, including PubMed, EThOS, ScienceDirect, SCOPUS, ProQuest, SciFinder, Medline, Open-thesis, OATD and Google Scholar. Pre-electronic literature was sourced from the University library.
Results: Literature search revealed that fresh or dried fruits of B. mollis can be commercially processed into new food products and beverages in southern Africa. Bridelia mollis is traditionally used as herbal medicine for cough, itching, fever, gastro-intestinal problems, malaria, piles, parasitic worms and wounds. Pharmacological studies on B. mollis indicate that the species has antibacterial, antifungal, antileishmanial, antioxidative and antiplasmodial properties.
Conclusion: Detailed studies on the phytochemistry, pharmacological and toxicological properties of B. mollis are needed in order to establish the real nutraceutical potential benefits of the species that might improve human health.
Keywords: Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antileishmanial, Antioxidative, Antiplasmodial, Bridelia mollis, Phyllanthaceae
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