Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1
Bull. Soc. Bot. France 52: 281 (1905).
Origin and geographic distribution
Perriera madagascariensis is endemic to western Madagascar.
The stem bark of Perriera madagascariensis is used as a tonic and against fever. Both bark and seeds are very bitter and were formerly used to treat amoebiasis and oedema. The roots and fruits are considered toxic. The wood is occasionally used for light construction in house building.
Two major alkaloids were isolated from Perriera madagascariensis. From stems and root bark 4,7-dimethoxy-1-vinyl-β-carboline was isolated and a dimeric alkaloid, biogenetically related to the β-carboline, kirondrin, was isolated from the root bark. Kirondrin has been used to treat amoebiasis and is found to be cytotoxic.
The 4-substituted β-carbolines inhibit Ca2+ influx and interleukin-2 (IL-2) production, and some are well suited for preventing and treating immune disorders. Use and production of 4-substituted β-carbolines are patented.
The wood has a coarse texture, is hard, lightweight and yellowish.
Medium-sized tree up to 30 m tall; outer bark grey, deeply longitudinally cracked, inner bark thick, yellow. Leaves arranged spirally, imparipinnately compound with 1–5 pairs of leaflets, often clustered at end of branches; stipules absent; rachis 4–23 cm long, densely hairy when young, slightly channelled at base; leaflets oblong to oblanceolate, up to 7 cm × 2.5 cm, base cuneate or rounded, apex rounded, shortly acuminate, often with 3–5 small, translucent glands, leathery, pinnately veined with 12–15 pairs of lateral veins almost perpendicular to midrib. Inflorescence an axillary panicle as long as the leaves or slightly longer, hairy. Flowers male or bisexual, regular, 5(–6)-merous; pedicel up to 5 mm long; calyx deeply lobed; petals free, c. 5 mm long, hairy; stamens 10(–12); ovary superior, consisting of 2–3 carpels. Fruit an ovoid drupe c. 5 cm long, becoming pale yellow when ripe.
Perriera is endemic to Madagascar and comprises 2 species.
Perriera madagascariensis occurs in dry deciduous forest from sea-level up to 500 m altitude, often on sandy soil.
Genetic resources and breeding
Perriera madagascariensis is considered near threatened even though it was still abundant in the region around Morondava in 1961.
The main interest in Perriera madagascariensis will remain its medicinal and pharmacological properties. Its rareness precludes its wider commercial use as timber.
• Guéneau, P., Bedel, J. & Thiel, J., 1970–1975. Bois et essences malgaches. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 150 pp.
• Gurib-Fakim, A. & Brendler, T., 2004. Medicinal and aromatic plants of Indian Ocean Islands: Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles and Mascarenes. Medpharm, Stuttgart, Germany. 568 pp.
• Krebs, H.C., Rakotoarimanga, J.V., Rasoanaivo, P., Frappier, F. & Martin, M-T., 1997. Alkaloids of Perriera madagascariensis. Journal of Natural Products 60(11): 1183–1185.
• Perrier de la Bâthie, H., 1950. Simarubacées (Simarubaceae). Flore de Madagascar et des Comores (plantes vasculaires), familles 104–105. Firmin-Didot et cie., Paris, France. 9 pp.
• Boiteau, P., Boiteau, M. & Allorge-Boiteau, L., 1999. Dictionnaire des noms malgaches de végétaux. 4 Volumes + Index des noms scientifiques avec leurs équivalents malgaches. Editions Alzieu, Grenoble, France.
• Bourguignon-Zylber, N. & Polonsky, J., 1970. Perriera madagascariensis bark and wood. Isolation and structure of a new indole alkaloid and a new quassinoid compound. Chimica Therapeutica 5(6): 396–400.
• Capuron, R., 1961. Contributions à l’étude de la flore forestière de Madagascar, III. Sur quelques plantes ayant contribué au peuplement de Madagascar. Adansonia, Série 2, 1(1): 65–92.
• Lounasmaa, M. & Tolvanen, A., 2000. Simple indole alkaloids and those with a nonrearranged monoterpenoid unit. Natural Product Reports 17: 175–191.
• Pari, K., Sundari, C.S., Chandani, S. & Balasubramanian, D., 2000. Beta-Carbolines that accumulate in human tissues may serve a protective role against oxidative stress. Journal of Biological Chemistry 275(4): 2455–2462.
• Schatz, G.E., 2001. Generic tree flora of Madagascar. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 477 pp.
Correct citation of this article:
Bosch, C.H., 2008. Perriera madagascariensis Courchet. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.