Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1
Vidensk. Meddel. Dansk Naturhist. Foren. Kjobenhavn 1853: 87 (1854).
Loganiaceae (APG: Gelsemiaceae)
2n = 20
Origin and geographic distribution
Mostuea brunonis occurs from Ghana east to Kenya and south to Angola and Mozambique. It also occurs in Madagascar.
In the Central African Republic a root decoction or infusion is taken to treat colds, hypermenorrhoea, kidney troubles and as an aphrodisiac. A bath is taken with a root decoction to treat yellow fever. Young leaves are taken in food to treat stomach complaints and a twig decoction is taken to treat distended stomach in children. In Tanzania the root is chewed to treat stomach-ache. A root decoction or grated fresh root is taken as vermifuge. The grated root is also used to treat snakebites and it is applied as dressing to treat wounds. In Madagascar an infusion of twigs and leaves is taken to treat general pain, including intestinal pain and colitis, and dysentery. In DR Congo the root bark is used as ingredient of arrow poison.
Mostuea brunonis contains several indole alkaloids. The stems and leaves contain gelsemicine, mostueine and some related compounds. The roots contain sempervirin and the quinoline-based alkaloid camptothecin. Camptothecin and its derivatives are candidate chemotherapy drugs to treat breast and colon cancers, malignant melanoma, small-cell lung cancer and leukaemia. Its use in agricultural fungicides has been patented in China. Whole plant extracts of Mostuea brunonis contain 20-O-β-glucopyranosyl camptothecin and some related compounds, as well as the moderately cytotoxic alkaloids deoxypumiloside and strictosamide. 20-O-β-glucopyranosyl camptothecin is more soluble in alcohol and water than camptothecin, and may have value as a drug that could be more readily formulated than camptothecin.
Much branched shrub, undershrub, or occasionally liana up to 7 m tall; stems erect or overhanging, with spreading branches; twigs near the apex variously hairy or glabrous. Leaves opposite, simple and entire; stipules membranous, triangular; petiole 0.5–8 mm long; blade oblong-ovate, ovate-elliptical or elliptical, 0.5–15(–28) cm × 0.5–8(–13) cm, base cuneate, apex acuminate, variously hairy or glabrous, often with domatia beneath in the angles of some lateral veins. Inflorescence a lax to headlike axillary or terminal cyme, usually on a short lateral branch, 1–many-flowered, variously hairy. Flowers bisexual, slightly zygomorphic, 5-merous, heterodistylous; sepals fused to up to half of their length, ovate, ovate-lanceolate to ovate-linear, 1–5 mm × 0.5–1 mm, apex acute, hairy or glabrous outside; corolla white, lilac or pink, mostly with a yellow or orange base and throat, sometimes entirely yellow, orange or red, or red with yellow, tube funnel-shaped 5–13 mm long, glabrous outside, lobes 1–5 mm long; stamens free, included or slightly exserted; ovary superior, ovoid, 1–1.5 mm × 0.5–1 mm, glabrous or appressed hairy near the apex, 2-celled, style simple, shorter or longer than the stamens. Fruit a 2-lobed capsule 4–7(–13) mm × 8–14 mm, glabrous or hairy, dull, medium to dark brown when dry, 4-valved, 2–4-seeded. Seeds plano-convex, obliquely ovate-orbicular, c. 10 mm × 6 mm × 2.5 mm, pale brown.
Mostuea comprises 7 species in Africa and Madagascar and 1 in northern South America.
Mostuea brunonis occurs in gallery or rainforest, also in secondary forest, from sea-level up to 1100 m altitude.
Genetic resources and breeding
Mostuea brunonis is widely distributed and hence not threatened by genetic erosion.
The active ingredients of Mostuea brunonis found so far (camptothecin and derivatives) have interesting antitumour activity. More research into the chemical composition of the plant and pharmacological activities of the compounds seems warranted.
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Correct citation of this article:
de Ruijter, A., 2007. Mostuea brunonis Didr. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.
obtained from B. Wursten
obtained from B. Wursten