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ISRN Pharmacology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 587160, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/587160
Review Article

A Review of the Ethnobotany and Pharmacological Importance of Alstonia boonei De Wild (Apocynaceae)

1Department of Chemistry, School of Physical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
2Department of Environmental Science, School of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana

Received 15 April 2012; Accepted 17 May 2012

Academic Editors: T. Kumai and M. van den Buuse

Copyright © 2012 John Prosper Kwaku Adotey et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Alstonia boonei De Wild is a herbal medicinal plant of West African origin, popularly known as God's tree or “Onyame dua”. Within West Africa, it is considered as sacred in some forest communities; consequently the plant parts are not eaten. The plant parts have been traditionally used for its antimalarial, aphrodisiac, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, and antipyretic activities, which have also been proved scientifically. The plant parts are rich in various bioactive compounds such as echitamidine, Nα-formylechitamidine, boonein, loganin, lupeol, ursolic acid, and β-amyrin among which the alkaloids and triterpenoids form a major portion. The present paper aims at investigating the main research undertaken on the plant in order to provide sufficient baseline information for future work and for commercial exploitation.