By: Rogia al-Shafee
KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Anogeissus leiocarpus (DC: A. schimperi, Combretaceae family) is a tree of the Savnnas region that receive 600 mm annual rainfall.
Its Arabic appellation is Sahab.
It has large ecological distribution ranging from the boarders of Sahara up to the out layer humid tropical forests. In West Africa, from Senegal to Cameroon and extends to Ethiopia and East Africa.
It grows abundantly in Sudan's Darfur, Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
Agronomist Dr Mohamed Adam Suleiman says the tree could in some cases reach a hieght of 20 meters. The colour of its trunk and branches is whitish grey.
It is a medicinal plant used in many traditional medicines in Africaan countries for both human and animals.
According to a study by Ahmad Arbab et Al, in the Sudanese traditional medicine the decoction of the barks is used against cough.
In Burkina Faso it is transitionally used for its antihypertensive properties.
Rural populations of Nigeria use sticks for orodental hygiene, the end of the sticks are chewed into fibrous brush which is rubbed against teeth and gum.
Ivory Coast traditional practitioners use the plant for parasitic disease such as Malaria, Trypansomiasis, Helminthasis and dysenteric syndrome.
In Togolese traditional medicine it is used against fungal infections such as dermatitis and mycosis, also the decoction of leaves is used against stomach infections.
The plant is also used for the treatment of diabetic ulcers, general body pain, blood clots, asthma, coughing and tuberculosis.
An experiment was conducted by Lazare Belemnaba et al to evaluate whether an aqueous extract of the Anogeissus leiocarpus (AEAL) trunk bark induces a vasorelaxant effect on porcine coronary artery rings and to investigate the underlying mechanism.
Their findings indicate that AEAL is a potent inducer of endothelium-dependent nitric oxide-mediated relaxations in porcine coronary arteries.
Another study conducted by Ayokunle O Ademosun et al on
the effect of Anogeissus leiocarpus stem bark extract on paroxetine-induced sexual dysfunction in male Wistar rats.
They concluded that Anogeissus leiocarpus could be considered a promising natural agent in erectile dysfunction management.
Other uses of the tree according to agricultural engineer Intisar Jaafar "its leaves are broad and strong thus becoming some of the most important raw material for paper industry in Sudan. The trunk is also used as a dye for hides and house utensils. Its long trunk is used as wood in building and furniture manufacturing, furthermore the huge roots are used as firewood and charcoal."
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