Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1
Engl., Pflanzenr. IV, 94: 67 (1910).
Tiliacora dinklagei Engl. (1899), Tiliacora dielsiana Hutch. & Dalziel (1927).
Origin and geographic distribution
Tiliacora leonensis occurs in Guinea, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
In Côte d’Ivoire an extract of the aerial parts is prescribed against dysentery, alone or in combination with leaves of Mallotus oppositifolius (Geiseler) Müll.Arg. Preparations of the bark, leaves or root are taken to treat cough, amenorrhoea and tachycardia. A paste of dried and ground leaves is given as an enema to pregnant women to help in the delivery of a heavy baby. The crushed leaves are applied to wounds. In Ghana a root decoction is taken against gastric fever, oedema of the legs and anaemia. The root is put in palm wine and drunk, or an extract of the aerial parts is drunk, in combination with Paullinia pinnata L., to improve sexual vigour.
The stem is used to make chew sticks and as tying material. The black fruits are edible.
The root contains bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloids with curare-like action, including dinklacorine, funiferine, tiliacorinine, tiliageine and nortiliacorine A. Funiferine and nortiliacorine A have weak antimalarial and antimicrobial action. The root also contains the benzylisoquinoline alkaloid oblongine. In an in-vitro test the leaves did not show antitrypanosomal or antiplasmodial activity.
Dioecious, robust liana; bark greyish, striped; branches sparsely hairy. Leaves simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole 1–1.5 cm long, fine-hairy; blade lanceolate or oblanceolate to elliptical, 9–20 cm × 3–7 cm, base cuneate, apex acuminate, papery, glabrous except for the main vein, pinnately veined with 3–4 pairs of lateral veins, very prominent below. Inflorescence an axillary, many-flowered panicle with flowers in clusters, several inflorescences together; peduncle 4–12 cm long, shorter in female plants, densely hairy. Flowers small, unisexual; sepals 9(–12), 6(–9) outer ones bract-like, triangular to ovate, 1–2 mm long, 3 inner ones obovate to oblong, 2.5–6 mm long; petals 6, obovate-oblong, slightly fleshy; male flowers with 6–9 stamens 2–2.5 mm long, filaments fused to the middle; female flowers with superior ovary composed of 25–30 carpels. Fruit composed of almost sessile, compressed-ovoid drupelets 1.5–2 cm × 1–1.5 cm, stone compressed oblong, leathery but brittle, 1-seeded.
Tiliacora comprises about 20 species of which 3 occur in tropical Asia and 17 in Africa; it is in need of a taxonomic revision.
Tiliacora leonensis occurs in rainforest and fringing forest.
Genetic resources and breeding
Tiliacora leonensis is fairly widespread and relatively common. It is not in danger of genetic erosion.
Tiliacora leonensis will probably remain of local importance, mainly as a medicinal plant.
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Correct citation of this article:
Oyen, L.P.A., 2008. Tiliacora leonensis (Scott-Elliot) Diels. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.