BALANITES MAUGHAMII SPRAGUE (ZYGOPHYLLACEAE) IN TROPICAL AFRICA: A SYNTHESIS AND REVIEW OF ITS CHEMISTRY, PHARMACOLOGY, AND MEDICINAL POTENTIAL
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGY OF BALANITES MAUGHAMII
Keywords:Balanites maughamii,, Ethnopharmacology, Herbal medicine,, Indigenous pharmacopeia,, Southern Africa,, Zygophyllaceae
Balanites maughamii is an important medicinal plant species in Southern Africa. This study is aimed at providing a critical review of the biological activities, phytochemistry, and medicinal uses of B. maughamii. Documented information on biological activities, medicinal uses, and phytochemistry of B. maughamii was collected from several online sources which included BMC, Scopus, SciFinder, Google Scholar, Science Direct, Elsevier, PubMed, and Web of Science. Additional information on the biological activities, phytochemistry and medicinal uses of B. maughamii were collected from pre-electronic sources such as book chapters, books, journal articles, theses, and scientific publications sourced from the university library. This study showed that the bark, fruits, leaves, and roots of B. maughamii are traditionally used for magical purposes, as emetic, tonic, fish poison, insecticidal, and herbal medicine for bilharzia. Phytochemical compounds identified from the bark, fruits, and leaves of B. maughamii are aliphatic alcohols, aliphatic ketones, benzenoid compounds, aliphatic acids, amino acids, coumarin, aliphatic esters, flavonoids, aliphatic aldehydes, and sterol. Pharmacological research revealed that B. maughamii extracts have adulticidal, antibacterial, antiplasmodial, bitterness, molluscicidal, and mutagenic activities. Future research should focus on evaluating the phytochemical, pharmacological, and toxicological properties of B. maughamii crude extracts as well as compounds isolated from the species.
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