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Triclisia patens Oliv.

Fl. trop. Afr. 1: 49 (1868).
Origin and geographic distribution
Triclisia patens occurs from Senegal east to Ghana and Benin.
In Côte d’Ivoire root pulp is rubbed in or root sap is rubbed into scarifications to treat rheumatism, arthritis, anaemia and sleeping sickness. A decoction of the root is drunk to treat fever and malaria. A root decoction is also taken as an emmenagogue and abortifacient. A leaf or root decoction is used as a wash against palpitations, as it has a sedative effect on the heart. Leaf sap has a soothing effect on cough. A decoction of the stem is drunk against stomach-ache and a decoction of the leaves and twigs is drunk, or leaf pulp is rubbed in, to treat oedema of the legs. In Sierra Leone a leaf decoction is used as a nasal or ocular instillation and as a purgative or bathe against epilepsy. Stem bark is powdered and applied to syphilitic sores and leprosy; the bark pulp is used as a purgative. Leaf or root juice mixed with salt in palm wine is drunk against cough and bronchial disorders.
In Sierra Leone the stems are made into slings used for climbing oil palms, while sections of the stem or parched, scraped roots are added to palm wine to make it more intoxicating.
Production and international trade
Triclisia patens is commonly sold on local markets.
From a methanol extract of dried leaves of Triclisia patens the bisbenzyl-isoquinoline alkaloids phaeanthine, aromoline, N,N’-dimethylphaeanthine and pycnamine, and the dioxin derivatives of bisbenzyl-isoquinoline alkaloids cocsuline and trigilletimine were isolated.
A methanol extract of dried leaves showed significant antiprotozoal activities against Leishmania donovani (IC50 = 1.5 μg/ml) and the blood stream form of Trypanosoma brucei brucei (IC50 = 31 μg/ml). Phaeanthine was three times more active (IC50 = 2.4 μM/ml) than Pentostam, a standard drug for the treatment of leishmaniasis, but at this concentration it is reported to be toxic to mammalian macrophages. In contrast, cocsoline (IC50 = 12.3 μM/ml) was as active as the standard drug, and was not toxic to macrophages at this concentration.
Both phaeanthine and aromoline showed antiprotozoal activity against Trypanosoma brucei but less strongly than the standard drug. Crude ethanolic extracts of the wood and bark showed significant antiplasmodial activity, but no significant anti-amoebic effect. Phaeanthine was effective against chloroquine-resistant and non-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum in vitro; at the used concentrations the alkaloid was found to be non-toxic to mammalian cells. An aqueous extract of the root showed antispasmodic activity on the respiratory tract and intestinal smooth muscle tissue of several test animals, which supports the use of the root against bronchial and intestinal problems.
Dioecious liana up to 12 m long; stem up to 6 cm in diameter; branchlets puberulous. Leaves alternate, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole 5–10 cm long; blade ovate to elliptical, 10–18 cm × 2–12 cm, base cuneate to slightly cordate, apex triangular-acuminate, leathery, pinnately veined with 3–4 pairs of lateral veins, of which the lowest pair basal, densely short-hairy on main veins below. Inflorescence an axillary umbel-like cyme, 2.5–8 cm × 2–12 cm or a false panicle up to 20 cm long; female inflorescence more compact than male one; branchlets and pedicels finely grey hairy. Flowers unisexual; bracts 2, tiny; sepals 6–9, yellow to orange, outer ones very small, slightly concave, 1–1.5 mm long, inner ones oblong to lanceolate, 2–5 mm × 1.5–2 mm, with recurved apex, all densely short-hairy outside; petals 1–3, much reduced or absent; male flowers with 3 stamens 2–2.5 mm long, free, with thick filaments; female flowers with staminodes, ovary superior, composed of 6–40 carpels, short-hairy, styles cylindrical. Fruit composed of ellipsoid, flattened drupes 1–2.5 cm × 1–1.5 cm on a stipe 3–5 mm long, short-hairy, yellow, stone wrinkled, 1-seeded. Seed with endosperm.
Triclisia comprises about 20 species, approximately 12 in mainland tropical Africa, 7 in Madagascar and 1 in Mayotte.
Triclisia macrophylla Oliv. has a sketchy distribution from Sierra Leone to Cameroon and Bioko (Equatorial Guinea); a root decoction is drunk to treat hernia. It is listed in the IUCN Red List as critically endangered because of habitat loss. Triclisia subcordata Oliv. occurs throughout West and Central Africa, and has similar medicinal uses to Triclisia patens. A methanolic leaf extract showed significant anti-ulcer effects in rats. The stems are used as rope. The fruits are reported as edible.
Triclisia patens occurs in rainforest and gallery forest, and is also common in secondary forest and on fallow land, at low and medium altitudes.
Genetic resources and breeding
Triclisia patens has a fairly wide distribution and grows in both primary and secondary vegetation; there are no indications that it is endangered.
Triclisia patens has shown strong antiprotozoal and antiplasmodial activities and is widely used in traditional medicine. Further pharmacological research into its uses and active compounds is therefore warranted. The genus Triclisia is in need of a revision.
Major 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.
• Camacho, M.R., Phillipson, J.D., Croft, S.L., Rock, P., Marshall, S.J. & Schiff, P.L.jr., 2002. In vitro activity of Triclisia patens and some bisbenzyl-isoquinoline alkaloids against Leishmania donovani and Trypanosoma brucei brucei. Phytotherapy Research 16(6): 432–436 & 602.
• Keay, R.W.J. & Troupin, G., 1954. Menispermaceae. In: Keay, R.W.J. (Editor). Flora of West Tropical Africa. Volume 1, part 1. 2nd Edition. Crown Agents for Overseas Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. pp. 66–77.
• Marshall, S.J., Russell, P.F., Phillipson, J.D., Kirby, G.C., Warhurst, D.C. & Wright, C.W., 2000. Antiplasmodial and antiamoebic activities of medicinal plants from Sierra Leone. Phytotherapy Research 14: 356–358.
• Troupin, G., 1962. Monographie des Menispermaceae africaines. Mémoires in-8. Académie Royale des Sciences d’Outre-Mer, Classe des Sciences Naturelles et Médicales, Nouvelle série 8(2), Brussels, Belgium. 313 pp.
Other references
• Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (Editors), 2006. Flore analytique du Bénin. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands. 1034 pp.
• Asuzu, I.U. & Anaga, A.O., 1995. The antiulcer effect of the methanolic extract of Triclisia subcordata leaves in rats. Journal of Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants 3(3): 45–53.
• Boissier, J.R., Bouquet, A., Combes, G., Dumont, C. & Debray, M., 1963. Présence de phaeanthine dans une Ménispermacée africaine: Triclisia patens Oliver. Préparation et étude de quelques-uns de ses dérivés ammoniums quaternaires. Annales Pharmaceutiques Françaises 21: 767–772, 829–842.
• Camacho, M.R., Phillipson, J.D., Croft, S.L., Solis, P.N., Marshall, S.J. & Ghazanfar, S.A., 2003. Screening of plant extracts for antiprotozoal and cytotoxic activities. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 89: 185–191.
• Dramane, K.L. & Mahieux, B., 1986. Mise en évidence de l’action pharmacodynamique de l’extrait aqueux de racine de Triclisia patens (Oliver) chez le rat, le cobaye et le lapin. Plantes médicinales et phytothérapie 20(4): 305–312.
• Dwuma-Badu, D., Ayim, J.S.K., Tackie, A.N., El Sohly, M.A., Knapp, J.E., Slatkin, D.J. & Schiff, P.L., 1975. Trigilletimine: a new bisbenzyl-isoquinoline alkaloid from Triclisia species. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 31: 1251–1252.
• Hawthorne, W. & Jongkind, C., 2006. Woody plants of western African forests: a guide to the forest trees, shrubs and lianes from Senegal to Ghana. Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, United Kingdom. 1023 pp.
• Hoët, S., Opperdoes, F., Brun, R. & Quetin-Leclercq, J., 2004. Natural products active against African trypanosomes: a step towards new drugs. Natural Product Reports 21: 353–364.
• Neuwinger, H.D., 2000. African traditional medicine: a dictionary of plant use and applications. Medpharm Scientific, Stuttgart, Germany. 589 pp.
• de Wet, H., 2005. An ethnobotanical and chemotaxonomic study of South African Menispermaceae. PhD Thesis, Faculty of Science, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa. 450 pp.
D.M. Mosango
c/o Laboratory of Natural Sciences, Lycée Français Jean Monnet de Bruxelles (LFB), Avenue du Lycée Français 9, 1180 Brussels, Belgium

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:
Mosango, D.M., 2008. Triclisia patens Oliv. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.