Astraea lobata (L) Klotzsch (Euphorbiaceae): an ethnopharmacological review.
This is a review on the medicinal uses, phytochemistry and biological activities of A. lobata with a view to present a better understanding of the medicinal potentials of the species. Published literature on A. lobata were sourced from databases such as Google Scholar, Web of Science, SciFinder, Scopus, Science Direct, PubMed, Scielo, Springerlink, Google Patents, Espacenet, BioMed Central (BMC) and Medline. Astraea lobata is native to north, central and south America, and now naturalized in Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo where it is used to treat numerous diseases including dysentery, malaria, menstrual problems, scorpion bite, rheumatism pain, skin cancer, sterility in women and as purgative. Multiple classes of phytochemicals such as alkaloids, anthraquinones, esters, diterpene alcohols, flavonoids, hydroxy ketones, peptides, phenolics, saponins, steroids, tannins, triterpenes and triglycerides have been isolated from fruits, leaves, roots and stems of A. lobata. Scientific studies on A. lobata indicate that it has a wide range of pharmacological activities which include antibacterial, antidiabetic, antiplasmodial, antioxidant, antitrypanosomal and leishmanicidal activities. The wide usage of A. lobata as a herbal medicine calls for detailed pharmacological and phytochemical studies aimed at correlating the documented medicinal uses of the species with its biological activities and phytochemistry.