Ethnomedicinal, phytochemical and pharmacological profile of genus Toddalia
Mwonjoria, John King’ori
Kariuki, Hellen Nyambura
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Plants have been used by mankind to alleviate various ailments for several millennia. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 80 percent of the people especially in the developing countries use herbal medicine for their primary health care (WHO, 2002). Interest and research into the pharmacological effects of the various plant extracts has risen after the realization of their therapeutic potential. Toddalia asiatica is a monotypic genus which has been used as folklore remedy for malaria, pain, fever and respiratory problems especially in Africa. Several phytochemicals isolated from this species includes coumarins, quinolines, triterpenoids, phenanthridine and alkaloids. Extract from T. asiatica were shown to possess anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, antimicrobial, antifungal, antimalarial, larvicidal, spasmolytic, cardiovascular and antitumor activity. Traditional herbs and knowledge when tested scientifically can provide new and effective pharmacological agents.