G da Silva, R Serrano, O Silva
iMed.UL, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon, Av. Prof. Gama Pinto, 1649-019 Lisboa, Portugal.
Maytenus heterophylla (Eckl. and Zeyh.) N.K.B. Robson and Maytenus senegalensis (Lam.) Exell are two African shrubs or trees that go under the common name of spike thorn, which belong to the Celastraceae family. Different plant parts of this species are largely used in traditional medicine for infectious and inflammatory diseases treatment. Several studies have been reported for both these species, but there are no recent review articles focusing microscopic, phytochemistry and pharmacological studies. The aim of this review is to summarize the information about these two African traditional medicines. Such kind of data can be applied in future experimental work and may guide future studies, namely in the field of validation of traditional medicine.
Keywords: African traditional knowledge, ethnopharmacology, Maytenus heterophylla, Maytenus senegalensis, microscopy, phytochemistry.