Entada africana - Guill. & Perrott. [FABACEAE]

Local name: Samanèrè

Synonyms: E. sudanica

This tree is used in traditional medicine for various types of illnesses and leaves, stem bark and root of the tree are used. E. africana is used in Mali as a medicinal plant against fever, including the type of fever caused by malaria. Based on our primary ethnobotanical field research with healers in Mali, various uses were attributed to the tree related to anti-inflammatory effects, like hepato-protective and woundhealing. A decoction of the roots is drunk for the treatment of hepatitis. Decoction of the root or the bark is also used to wash wounds and a powder of the same plant parts is applied topically as a wound healer. The leaves are also used as wounddressings to prevent suppuration. The juice of the fresh root or the bark is also used for its hemostatic properties. An infusion of the leaves or of the bark is taken as a tonic in the areas of northern Nigeria and Ghana. In Guinea-Bissau, the roots are used for treating wounds. Reports from Senegal mention various uses of E. africana as a medicinal plant. In Senegal the tree is used as a decoction of roots and the trunk bark as an anti-poison remedy; a macerate of the bark against bronchitis and cough; as an antiseptic andas a wound-healing agent. Roots are also known as a ‘fortifier’, diuretic, and as anti-gonococci an anti-syphilitic agents. The tree yields a gum, which content varies depending on the place of origin. It is reported that it may consist of 10% tragacanth and 90% water-soluble polymers of the gum arabic type. Rotenone and tannins are also present, and these compounds have been shown to have antiseptic, astringent, haemostatic and anti-parasitic properties, which may partly explain the use of the gum for wound-dressing and on sores and psoriasis. The seeds are also used in treating wounds, sore, skin-eruptions, rheumatism, cataract, fevers and dysentery.The leaves are commonly used for their pharmacological properties. These are as a vulnerary, haemostatic and antiseptic on wounds, sore and skin-infections; as an emetic administrated as an antidote in food-poisoning; as a tonic and stomachic; as an abortifacient; as an antipyretic and for rheumatism.

By Berit Smestad Paulsen
Published Feb. 11, 2011 10:18 AM - Last modified June 20, 2013 4:21 PM