Sotade G Akinwale, Onyeneke E Chukwu, Ofoha P Chioma, Anionye J Chukudi and Anyanwu G Olubunmi
Enantia chlorantha (Dokita Igbo, Awogba, Awopa), depending on the dialect of the Yoruba speaking people of the South west and (Erumeru), South Eastern Nigeria. It is widely distributed along the coasts of West and Central Africa and common in the forest regions of Nigeria. It belongs to the family Annonaceae and the trade name is Africa yellow wood. It is an ornamental tree which may grow up to 30 m high, with dense foliage and spreading crown. The plant extracts have been widely used in folk medicine for the treatment of a large number of human ailments especially in rural communities in Nigeria. The stem bark is mostly preferred (even though the roots and the leaves may also be used), and decoctions, tinctures or infusions may be prepared. In Nigeria, E. chlorantha preparations can be made in the form of a drink, called ‘agbo’, or in the form of a powder, referred to as ‘agunmu’. Generally, in different places and cultures, it has found wide applications in folk medicine as a therapeutic agent for treating myriad of sickness and disease conditions such as malaria, aches, wounds, boils, vomiting, yellow fever, chills, sore, hepatitis, worms, intestinal spasms, sexual asthenia, jaundice, urinary tract infections, typhoid fever, leprosy spots, tuberculosis, gastric and duodenal ulcers. It also serves as a haemostatic agent, and as a uterine stimulant. Its medicinal properties range from preventing to curative while the pharmacological activities include antimalarial, antimicrobial and antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-Helicobacter pylori, anticonvusant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic, antiviral, gastro protective and enhancing male fertility. Saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, phenols, reducing sugar and cardiac glycosides are some of the bioactive constituents present in the plant extracts which support its multiple properties and uses in traditional medicine. Palmatine, coloumbamine and jatrorrhizine are specific active principles isolated from the stem bark of Enantia chlorantha alkaloids. The aqueous extract of Enantia chlorantha is not toxic in acute intake up to 500 mg/kg body weight, but doses greater than 500mg/kg body weight can cause lungs, hepatic and kidney disorders following medium to long-term use. This review attempts to highlight the novelty of Enantia chlorantha: evaluating the traditional uses, nutritional, phytochemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology and medicinal potentials of this plant.
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