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Cleistochlamys kirkii (Benth.) Oliv is a shrub or small tree widely used as a traditional medicine in the east and central Africa. Cleistochlamys kirkii is indigenous to Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This study is aimed at evaluating the phytochemistry, biological activities and therapeutic potential of C. kirkii. Results of the current study are based on data derived from several online databases such as Scopus, Google Scholar, PubMed and Science Direct, and pre-electronic sources such as scientific publications, books, dissertations, book chapters and journal articles. This study revealed that the leaf and root infusion, maceration and decoction of C. kirkii are mainly used as traditional medicines for haemorrhoid wounds, rheumatism and tuberculosis. Phytochemical compounds identified from the species include α,β-unsaturated lactone, acetogenin, benzyl benzoate derivatives, c-benzylated flavanone, heptanolide, an indole alkaloid, phenolics, polyoxygenated cyclohexene and derivatives, sesquiterpene and tetracyclic triterpenes. In vitro studies have confirmed the biological activities of C. kirkii crude extracts and compounds isolated from the species which include antibacterial, antifungal, antiplasmodial and cytotoxicity. Documentation of the medicinal uses, phytochemistry and pharmacological properties of C. kirkii is essential as this information provides baseline data required for future research and development of health-promoting and pharmaceutical products. Cleistochlamys kirkii should be subjected to detailed ethnopharmacological and toxicological evaluations aimed at correlating its medicinal uses with its phytochemistry and pharmacological properties.
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