Diospyros abyssinica (Hiern) F.White [EBENACEAE]

Local name: Kôforonto and Baforonto

Synonyms: Ebenus abyssinica, Diospyros welwitschii, Maba abyssinica


This is a high tree (up to 35 m) which is widely dispersed in Africa. In Mali the tree is located in the southern part, especially in the Sikasso-area. Diospyros species is widely used in traditional medicine, but few studies of the traditional use of D. abyssinica have been done. In Malian traditional medicine the tree is used in the treatment of several diseases. In the Dioila area in Mali, the decoction of leaves is used against malaria and in wound healing, the roots against dysentery. Extracts of the root bark have been reported to show activity both as radical scavengers and 15-lipoxygenase inhibitors. This may be due to the presence of phenolic substances (bergenin and flavanols). The triterpenoids betulin, betulinic acid and lupeol have been isolated from the stem bark. All of these are known anti-inflammatory compounds. The two bisnaphtoquinones diospyrin and isodiospyrin have been isolated from the bark of D. abyssinica. They are known to exhibit activities against protozoan parasites. They have also shown inhibitory activities against murine tumors in vivo and inhibition of blood platelet aggregation.


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