A Review on African Violet Tree (Securidaca longipedunculata Fresen): A Traditional Drug with Multiple Medicinal Uses
Securidaca longipedunculata Fresen is a plant species with numerous medicinal uses, which is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa. The present wok summarizes its traditional uses, toxicity, biological activities, phytochemical constituents and conservation status. The plant was found to be toxic at higher concentrations; particularly the root bark and whole root extracts. The biological activities of the plant include antiinflammatory, antioxidant, antiparasitic, histopathological, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, antiplasmodial antitrypanosomal, anticonvulsant, enzyme inhibition, insecticidal, molluscicidal and pesticidal activities. Different classes of bioactive compounds which include phenolic acids, xanthones, glycosides, saponins, steroids, fatty acids, volatile oils, flavonoids, alkaloids and sucrose derivatives were isolated from different parts of Securidaca longipedunculata. This important medicinal plant is threatened by over harvesting; this may be due to the fact that the root is the most commonly used part, which makes the plant difficult to survive over harvesting, therefore, there is need by all stakeholders in Africa to initiate conservation program to save the plant. Also, the pharmacology and phytochemistry of the leaves and stem bark of the violet tree should be further investigated.