A Review of the Ethnobotany and Pharmacological Importance of Alstonia boonei De Wild (Apocynaceae)

Department of Chemistry, School of Physical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana.
ISRN pharmacology 07/2012; 2012(6):587160. DOI: 10.5402/2012/587160
Source: PubMed


Alstonia boonei De Wild is a herbal medicinal plant of West African origin, popularly known as God's tree or "Onyame dua". Within West Africa, it is considered as sacred in some forest communities; consequently the plant parts are not eaten. The plant parts have been traditionally used for its antimalarial, aphrodisiac, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, and antipyretic activities, which have also been proved scientifically. The plant parts are rich in various bioactive compounds such as echitamidine, Nα-formylechitamidine, boonein, loganin, lupeol, ursolic acid, and β-amyrin among which the alkaloids and triterpenoids form a major portion. The present paper aims at investigating the main research undertaken on the plant in order to provide sufficient baseline information for future work and for commercial exploitation.

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    • "It is widely distributed in Africa: Egypt, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ghana, Code D'Ivoire, and Nigeria [2]. The various ethnomedicinal, chemical, pharmacological, and toxicological properties of Alstonia boonei were recently reviewed and the profile revealed that it is useful in the treatment and management of several illnesses [2]. The root bark is commonly used in West and Central Africa along with other herbs in the management of arthritis [3, 4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Folkloric use of root-bark extract of Alstonia boonei in the treatment and management of many disease conditions may be associated with free radical scavenging as part of its mechanisms of action. We therefore evaluated the ability of different solvent fractions of the methanol extract, crude precipitate from the extract, and isolated compound from the crude precipitate for scavenging 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical. Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of useful phytocompounds. Ethyl acetate fraction showed better antioxidant activity with IC50 of 54.25 μ g/mL while acetone and methanol fractions have 121.79 and 141.67 μ g/mL, respectively. The crude precipitate and isolated compound showed IC50 values of 364.39 and 354.94 μ g/mL, respectively. The crude precipitate, fractions, and compound 1 showed antioxidant activity against DPPH radical although lower than that of ascorbic acid.
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    ABSTRACT: Nearly 3,000 plant species are used as medicines in South Africa, with approximately 350 species forming the most commonly traded and used medicinal plants. In the present study, twelve South African medicinal plants were selected and tested for their antimicrobial activities against eight microbial species belonging to fungi, Mycobacteria, Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The radiometric respiratory technique using the BACTEC 460 system was used for susceptibility testing against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and the liquid micro-broth dilution was used for other antimicrobial assays. The results of the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) determinations indicated that the methanol extracts from Acacia karoo, Erythrophleum lasianthum and Salvia africana were able to prevent the growth of all the tested microorganisms. All other samples showed selective activities. MIC values below 100 μg/ml were recorded with A. karoo, C. dentate, E. lasianthum, P. obligun and S. africana on at least one of the nine tested microorganisms. The best activity (MIC value of 39.06 μg/ml) was noted with S. africana against E. coli, S. aureus and M. audouinii, and Knowltonia vesitoria against M. tuberculosis. The overall results of the present work provide baseline information for the possible use of the studied South African plant extracts in the treatment of microbial infections.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Context: Alstonia boonei De Wild (Apocyanaceae) is used in ethnomedicine for the management of malaria, ulcer, rhematic pain, toothache, and inflammatory disorders. Objective: To investigate the anti-inflammatory potential of β-amyrin and α-amyrin acetate isolated from the stem bark of Alstonia boonei using animal models. Materials and methods: Chromatographic purification of the crude methanol extract led to the isolation and structure elucidation of β-amyrin and α-amyrin acetate. Their anti-inflammatory activities were evaluated in rodents using egg albumen-induced paw edema and xylene-induced ear edema models. The gastric ulcerogenic, in vivo leucocyte migration, and RBC membrane stabilization tests were also investigated. Results: α-Amyrin acetate at 100 mg/kg showed significant (p < 0.05) inhibition of egg albumen-induced paw edema with % inhibition of 40 at the 5th hour. Oral administration up to 100 mg/kg did not produce significant (p > 0.01) irritation of the gastric mucosa while significant (p < 0.01) ulceration was recorded for indomethacin at 40 mg/kg compared with the negative control. At 100 μg/mL, both β-amyrin and α-amyrin acetate inhibited heat-induced hemolysis to as much 47.2 and 61.5%, respectively, while diclofenac sodium (100 μg/mL) evoked only 40.5% inhibition. Both compounds at 100 µg/ear produced significant (p < 0.01) inhibition of ear edema in mice by 39.4 and 55.5%, respectively. Also at 100 mg/kg (p.o.) α-amyrin acetate evoked 60.3% reduction in total leucocyte count and significant (p < 0.05) suppression (47.9%) of neutrophil infiltration. Discussion and conclusion: This study generally provided evidence of profound anti-inflammatory activity of β-amyrin and α-amyrin acetate isolated from the Alstonia boonei stem bark.
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