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Maerua pseudopetalosa (Gilg & Gilg-Ben.) DeWolf  is  a perennial herb or subshrub collected from the wild as a food plant or traditional medicine. Maerua pseudopetalosa occurs naturally from Senegal, east to Eritrea and Ethiopia, through South Sudan, Sudan, East Africa, south to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This study is aimed at evaluating the chemical properties, biological activities and ethnomedicinal uses of M. pseudopetalosa. 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 fruit, leaf and root infusion and/or decoction of M. pseudopetalosa are mainly used as a stimulant and to restore physical strength and vitality, and traditional medicine for chest pains, breast cancer and cough. Phytochemical compounds identified from aerial parts, fruits, roots, seeds and tubers of M. pseudopetalosa  include quaternary ammonium compounds, alkaloids, amino acids, betaines, cardiac glycosides, fatty acids, essential oils, flavonoids, phenolics, sterols and tannins. Preliminary ethnopharmacological research revealed that aerial parts, roots and tubers of M. pseudopetalosa have antibacterial, antifungal, antihyperglycemic, antioxidant, α-glucosidase inhibitory, pancreatic lipase inhibitory and cytotoxicity activities. Maerua pseudopetalosa should be subjected to detailed phytochemical, pharmacological and toxicological evaluations aimed at correlating its medicinal uses with its phytochemistry and pharmacological properties.


Capparaceae indigenous pharmacopeia Maerua pseudopetalosa traditional medicine

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How to Cite
Alfred Maroyi. (2020). Chemical properties, biological activities and ethnomedicinal uses of Maerua pseudopetalosa: A famine food species of tropical Africa. International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences, 11(4), 7889-7897.

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