Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1
Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 28: 121 (1899).
2n = 44
Origin and geographic distribution
Strychnos dinklagei occurs naturally from Guinea east to Ghana.
In Côte d’Ivoire a decoction of the wood of the roots is used as a mouth wash or for inhalation in case of mouth infections. A decoction of stem and root bark is taken to treat kidney diseases and it is used as a wash to treat palpitations. A decoction of the bark in palm oil is applied in small amounts to the tongue to treat palpitations, tachycardia and other symptoms of heart problems.
Twelve alkaloids were isolated from the stem bark: 2 monoterpene alkaloids (gentianine and venoterpine), 8 pyrido-4,3β-carbazoles (ellipticine and several derivatives) and 2 apparicine derivatives (brafouedine and isobrafouedine). The stem bark also contains methyl syringate, lirioresinol A and lirioresinol B. The leaves contain the monoterpene alkaloids dinklageine, strychnovoline, gentianine and cantleyine. Leaf and bark extracts have muscle relaxant and convulsant activities. A stem bark extract has strong antimicrobial activity against Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus.
Large liana up to 40 m long, climbing with paired tendrils; stem 5–13 cm in diameter; bark pale grey or dark brown and grey-brown spotted, with large lenticels; branches dark brown with lenticels, branchlets medium green, often with lenticels. Leaves opposite, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole 2–7 mm long, minutely hairy or glabrous; blade elliptical to narrowly elliptical, usually narrower toward the top of the branchlets, 3–10(–13) cm × 2–5(–7) cm, base cuneate or rounded, apex acuminate, glabrous, 3-veined from the base. Inflorescence a terminal or sometimes axillary lax thyrse 1–2 cm long, many-flowered; peduncle 6–15 cm long. Flowers bisexual, regular, usually 5-merous; sepals broadly ovate, 0.5–1 mm long; corolla bell-shaped, tube 0.5–1 mm long, lobes triangular to ovate, 1–2 mm long, acute, thick, spreading, outside minutely hairy, inside hairy at the base, white or greenish white; stamens inserted at the mouth of the corolla tube, exserted, anthers orbicular, with white hairs; ovary superior, broadly ovoid or globose, 0.5–1 mm in diameter, 2-celled, rather abruptly narrowed into the style c. 0.5 mm long, stigma head-shaped. Fruit an obliquely ovoid berry 18–24 mm × 13–16 mm × 10–14 mm, soft, orange, 1-seeded. Seed elliptical, 15–18 mm × 10–12 mm × 5–5.5 mm, rough, with thick, short erect hairs.
Strychnos comprises about 200 species: about 60 species in Asia, 65 in America and 75 in Africa. Strychnos dinklagei belongs to the section Lanigerae.
Strychnos dinklagei occurs in rainforest, also in secondary forest, often on river banks, from sea-level up to 250 m altitude.
Genetic resources and breeding
Although the natural distribution of Strychnos dinklagei is restricted, it seems not to be in danger of genetic erosion.
It seems likely that Strychnos dinklagei will remain of limited use only, unless the antibacterial activity of the stem bark shows potential in additional tests.
• Bisset, N.G., 1970. The African species of Strychnos. Part I. The ethnobotany. Lloydia 33(2): 201–243.
• Bisset, N.G. & Leeuwenberg, A.J.M., 1968. The use of Strychnos species in Central African ordeal and arrow poisons. Lloydia 31: 208–222.
• Leeuwenberg, A.J.M., 1969. The Loganiaceae of Africa 8. Strychnos 3. Revision of the African species with notes on the extra-African. Mededelingen Landbouwhogeschool Wageningen 69–1. Wageningen, Netherlands. 316 pp.
• Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. (Editor), 1980. Angiospermae: Ordnung Gentiales. Fam. Loganiaceae. Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien. Second Edition. Band 28 b-1. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, Germany. 255 pp.
• Michel, S., Skaltsounis, A.L., Tillequin, F., Koch, M. & Aké Assi, L., 1985. Alcaloïdes des feuilles de Strychnos dinklagei. Journal of Natural Products 48(1): 86–92.
• Michel, S., Tillequin, F. & Koch, M., 1986. Brafouédine et isobrafouédine: nouveaux alcaloïdes indoliques mineurs de Strychnos dinklagei. Journal of Natural Products 49(3): 452–455.
• Michel, S., Tillequin, F., Koch, M. & Aké Assi, L., 1982. Alcaloïdes des écorces de tiges de Strychnos dinklagei. Journal of Natural Products 45(4): 489.
• Verpoorte, R., Van Beek, T.A., Thomassen, P.H.A.M., Aandewiel, J. & Baerheim Svendsen, A., 1983. Screening of antimicrobial activity of some plants belonging to the Apocynaceae and Loganiaceae. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 8(3): 287–302.
Correct citation of this article:
de Ruijter, A., 2007. Strychnos dinklagei Gilg. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.