Chimie des produits naturels  
Traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacological properties of African Nauclea species: A review  
[Full paper ]
R. Haudecoeur, M. Peuchmaur, B. Pérès, M. Rome, G. Sotoing Taiwe, A. Boumendjel, B. Boucherle
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2018, 212, 106-136
Ethnopharmacoalogical relevance: The genus Nauclea in Africa comprises seven species. Among them, N. latifolia, N. diderrichii and N. pobeguinii are widely used by the local population in traditional remedies. Preparation from various parts of plants (e.g. roots, bark, leaves) are indicated by traditional healers for a wide range of diseases including malaria, pain, digestive ailments or metabolic diseases. Materials and methods: A literature search was conducted on African species of the genus Nauclea using scientific databases such as Google Scholar, Pubmed or SciFinder. Every document of ethnopharmacological, phytochemical or pharmacological relevance and written in English or French were analyzed. Results and discussion: The Nauclea genus is used as ethnomedicine all along sub-Saharan Africa. Several local populations consider Nauclea species as a major source of remedies for malaria. In this regard, two improved traditional medicines are currently under development using extracts from N. latifolia and N. pobeguinii. Concerning the chemical composition of the Nauclea genus, indoloquinolizidines alkaloids could be considered as the major class of compounds as they are reported in every analyzed Nauclea species, with numerous structures identified. Based on traditional indications a considerable amount of pharmacological studies were conducted to ensure activity and attempt to link them to the presence of particular compounds in plant extracts. Conclusion: Many experimental studies using plant extracts of the African species of the genus Nauclea validate traditional indications (e.g. malaria and pain). However, bioactive compounds are rarely identified and therefore, there is a clear need for further evaluations as well as for toxicity experiments. The sustainability of these plants, especially of N. diderrichii, a threatened species, should be kept in mind to adapt local uses and preparation modes of traditional remedies.