A review of the health benefits of Strychnos decussata (Pappe) Gilg (Loganiaceae): a potential functional food
Strychnos decussata is a small to medium sized tree which naturally occurs in open-wooded and thickets in tropical Africa. A critical appraisal of the medicinal, pharmacological and socio-economic properties of S. decussata are provided. Research articles focusing on the medicinal, pharmacological and socio-economic properties of S. decussata were searched from online databases such as Google Scholar, PubMed, Science Direct, SciELO and SpringerLink. No time limit was set for the search and all research outputs that aligned with the scope of the review were included. S. decussata has diverse uses as a food plant and also has medicinal uses such as charm and ritual, scorpion and snake bite antidote, ethnoveterinary medicine, and traditional medicine for fever, gastro-intestinal problems, headache, respiratory infections, wounds, venereal diseases and infections. S. decussata exert biological activities such as antifungal, antimycobacterial, antiplasmodial and convulsant activities. Several phytochemical compounds such as decussine and decussine-type alkaloids, gluco-indole alkaloids and pentacyclic indole alkaloids have been isolated from the species. Many applications of S. decussata as source of food and herbal medicines as well as its phytochemistry and pharmarcological properties need further investigations.
Keywords: Buddleia family, ethnomedicinal uses, indigenous knowledge, Loganiaceae, Strychnos decussata
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