Main Article Content
Schefflera umbellifera (Sond.) Baill. is an evergreen tree widely used as traditional medicine throughout its distributional range in southern Africa. Schefflera umbellifera is indigenous to Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe. This study was aimed at providing a critical review of medicinal uses, phytochemical and pharmacological properties of S. umbellifera. Documented information on medicinal uses, phytochemical and pharmacological properties of S. umbellifera was collected from several online sources such as Scopus, Google Scholar, PubMed, Francis and Taylor and Science Direct, and pre-electronic sources such as book chapters, books, journal articles and scientific publications obtained from the University library. This study revealed that the bark, leaf and root decoction or infusion of S. umbellifera are mainly used as diuretic, laxative, colic and protective charm, and traditional medicine for stomach ulcers, weaning infants, insanity, inflammation, rheumatism and malaria. Phytochemical compounds identified from the species include 3-hydroxy-20(29)-lupen-28-ol, 7-hydroxy-6-methoxycoumarin, betulin, ent-kaur-16-en-19-oic acid and oleanolic acid. Pharmacological research revealed that S. umbellifera extracts and compounds isolated from the species have antibacterial, anti-HIV, anti-inflammatory, antimalarial, antiprotozoal, larvicidal and cytotoxicity activities. Schefflera umbellifera should be subjected to detailed phytochemical, pharmacological and toxicological evaluations aimed at correlating its medicinal uses with its phytochemistry and pharmacological activities.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.