Volume 6, Issue 3      July - September, 2018

Bridelia cathartica Bertol. f. (Phyllanthaceae): a review of its pharmacological properties and medicinal potential

Alfred Maroyi*

Medicinal Plants and Economic Development (MPED) Research Centre, Department of Botany, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa



Bridelia cathartica is an important medicinal plant throughout its distributional range in sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the botany, ethnomedicinal uses, chemical and biological properties of B. cathartica. Information on the medicinal, phytochemistry and biological properties of B. cathartica was undertaken using electronic databases such as Medline, Pubmed, SciFinder, SCOPUS, Google Scholar, Science Direct, EThOS, ProQuest, OATD and Open-thesis. Pre-electronic literature was sourced from the University library. Literature search revealed that B. cathartica is mainly used as a charm and to cast spells, as herbal medicine used by women during child bearing and pregnancy, remedy for fever and malaria, gastro-intestinal, headache, haemorrhoids, menstrual problems, pain, sores and wounds, reproductive, respiratory disorders and sexually transmitted infections. Pharmacological studies of B. cathartica extracts revealed that the species has antibacterial, antifungal, antimalarial and antioxidant properties. Based on its wide use as herbal medicine in tropical Africa, B. cathartica should be subjected to detailed phytochemical and pharmacological evaluations aimed at elucidating its chemical, pharmacological and toxicological properties.

Keywords: Bridelia cathartica, Ethnopharmacology, Phyllanthaceae, Traditional medicine, Tropical Africa

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