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Paropsia grewioides Welw. ex Mast.

Protologue
Oliv., Fl. trop. Afr. 2: 505 (1871).
Family
Passifloraceae
Origin and geographic distribution
Paropsia grewioides occurs from Cameroon south to Angola, and in Tanzania and Mozambique.
Uses
In Congo a bark decoction is used as a vapour bath, leaf sap is drunk to treat rheumatism, and leaf pulp is rubbed on the painful area. In DR Congo pulverized leaves of Paropsia grewioides mixed with those of Utricularia inflexa Forssk. are rubbed into scarifications on the chest or a decoction is used as a rectal wash to treat respiratory diseases in children.
Properties
Paropsia grewioides contains flavones, tannins, saponins and hydrocyanic acid.
Botany
Shrub or small tree up to 12(–20) m tall; bole up to 30 cm in diameter; young branches with dense, short, brown hairs. Leaves alternate, more or less in 2 rows, simple; stipules lanceolate, up to 2 mm long, soon falling; petiole slender, 4–8 mm long, yellowish hairy; blade oblong to elliptical-oblong, (3.5–)5.5–11(–13) cm × (2–)2.5–4(–7) cm, base cuneate, apex slightly acuminate to acute, margin finely toothed, papery to leathery, glabrescent. Flowers usually solitary in leaf axils, bisexual, regular, 5-merous; pedicel 1–2(–3) cm long; sepals lanceolate-oblong to oblong, (6–)10–14(–25) mm × 3–5(–10) mm, brownish hairy outside, greyish hairy inside; petals narrower and slightly shorter than sepals, greenish yellow or creamy; corona consisting of 3–4 mm long hairy threads; stamens exserted, filaments 6–10 mm long, anthers 2.5–3.5 mm long; ovary superior, with stipe up to 1.5 mm long, globose to ovoid, hairy, styles usually 3, slender, 2–3 mm long, hairy. Fruit a globose to ovoid capsule 1.5–3 cm × 1.5–2.5 cm, usually hairy. Seeds ovoid, compressed, 5–7 mm long, testa hard, grooved and pitted, with aril.
Paropsia comprises 12 species, 5 of which occur in mainland tropical Africa, 6 in Madagascar and 1 in South-East Asia. In Tanzania and Mozambique Paropsia grewioides plants have larger flowers and smaller fruits in comparison with plants from Central Africa. They have been distinguished as var. orientalis Sleumer. Paropsia guineensis Oliv. occurs from Ghana east to Uganda and south to Cabinda (Angola); in Congo the bark is used in the same way as that of Paropsia grewioides, to treat rheumatism.
Ecology
Paropsia grewioides occurs in semi-deciduous forest, littoral forest and dry forest, also in secondary forest and thickets.
Genetic resources and breeding
Paropsia grewioides is widespread and there is no indication that it is threatened by genetic erosion.
Prospects
More research is needed to assess the pharmacological possibilities of Paropsia grewioides.
Major references
• Bouquet, A., 1969. Féticheurs et médecines traditionnelles du Congo (Brazzaville). Mémoires ORSTOM No 36. Office de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique Outre-Mer. Paris, France. 282 pp.
• de Wilde, W.J.J.O., 1975. Passifloraceae. In: Polhill, R.M. (Editor). Flora of Tropical East Africa. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. 71 pp.
• Neuwinger, H.D., 2000. African traditional medicine: a dictionary of plant use and applications. Medpharm Scientific, Stuttgart, Germany. 589 pp.
• Sleumer, H., 1970. Le genre Paropsia Noronha ex Thouars (Passifloraceae). Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 40(1): 49–75.
• Sleumer, H. & Bamps, P., 1976. Flacourtiaceae (seconde partie). In: Bamps, P. (Editor). Flore d’Afrique centrale. Spermatophytes. Jardin botanique national de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium. 45 pp.
Other references
• Burkill, H.M., 1997. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 4, Families M–R. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 969 pp.
• Disengomoka, I. & Delaveau, P., 1983. Medicinal plants used for child’s respiratory diseases in Zaire. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 8: 257–264.
• Disengomoka, I., Delaveau, P. & Sengele, K., 1983. Medicinal plants used for child’s respiratory diseases in Zaire. Part 2. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 8: 265–277.
• Tona, L., Kambu, K., Mesia, K., Cimanga, K., Apers, S., De Bruyne, T., Pieters, L., Totte, J. & Vlietinck, A.J., 1999. Biological screening of traditional preparations from some medicinal plants used as antidiarrhoeal in Kinshasa, Congo. Phytomedicine 6(1): 59–66.
• Tona, L., Kambu, K., Ngimbi, N., Cimanga, K. & Vlietinck, A.J., 1998. Antiamoebic and phytochemical screening of some Congolese medicinal plants. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 61(1): 57–65.
Author(s)
A. de Ruijter
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands


Editors
G.H. Schmelzer
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
A. Gurib-Fakim
Faculty of Science, University of Mauritius, Réduit, Mauritius
Associate editors
C.H. Bosch
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
M.S.J. Simmonds
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, United Kingdom
R. Arroo
Leicester School of Pharmacy, Natural Products Research, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH, United Kingdom
A. de Ruijter
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
General editors
R.H.M.J. Lemmens
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
L.P.A. Oyen
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

Correct citation of this article:
de Ruijter, A., 2007. Paropsia grewioides Welw. ex Mast. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.