Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Plants used in traditional medicine in Eastern Tanzania. VI. Angiosperms (Sapotaceae to Zingiberaceae).

Abstract

In this last part of a survey on medicinal plants used in 5 regions of Eastern Tanzania (Coast, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Morogoro and Tanga), information on 53 Angiosperm species belonging to the families Sapotaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Simaroubaceae, Smilacaceae, Solanaceae, Sterculiaceae, Stilaginaceae [Euphorbiaceae], Taccaceae, Thymelaeaceae, Tiliaceae, Ulmaceae, Umbelliferae, Verbenaceae, Vitaceae [Vitidaceae] and Zingiberaceae is presented. Their botanical and vernacular names, collection numbers, locality, habit, geographic distribution, medicinal uses and relevant information from literature studies on chemical constituents and pharmacological effects are listed. Analysis of the data collected for 405 plant species and presented in this part (part 6) and parts 1 to 5 (see Journal of Ethnopharmacology: (1987) 21, 253-277; (1989) 25, 339-359; (1990) 28, 255-283 and 29, 295-323, and (1991) 33, 143-157) showed that of the 1297 plant preparations used by traditional healers, roots were the most frequent plant parts used (60.7%), followed by the leaves (23.1%), the stembark (6.8%), the rootbark (4.7%), the whole plant (1.2%) and the stem (0.5%). Most remedies were based on a single plant species. Remedies were prepared as decoctions (boiling water extracts, 65.5%), pure juices or juices diluted with water (9.8%), infusions (hot water extracts, 9.2%), powder (7.7%), crushed material (2.8%) or ash (1.2%). Among 129 species tested for antibacterial properties, 85 were active against ≥1 test organism, and among 29 species tested for antifungal properties, 20 species showed activity against at least 1 fungal species. In animal experiments, 14 species showed preliminary anticancer activity; 11 molluscicidal activity; 8 showed insect antifeedant and growth inhibitory activities; 8 had antidiabetic properties; 7 had antihypertensive activity; and 4 showed anthelmintic properties. Among the 16 toxic species identified, Bidens pilosa, Euphorbia tirucalli and Capsicum frutescens had carcinogenic properties.