African sausage tree is a wide spreading, deciduous, about 10 meters in height. Leaves are alternate and odd pinnate. Leaflets are opposite, ovate to elliptic-ovate, 8 to 16 centimeters long, and pointed or blunt at the tip. Flowers are red, nocturnal, and borne in panicles on very long, pendulous pedicels. Calyx is 2.5 to 3 centimeters long, unequally 5-toothed, or lobed. Corolla is 10 to 12 centimeters long, the tube is rather slender and the limb, broadly bells-shaped, somewhat curved, and 5- lobed. Fruit is hard, greyish-brown, scurfy, large, sausage-shaped, oblong or oblong-cylindric, 20 to 30 centimeters in length, indehiscent, and hanging on very long and fibrous peduncles.
- Recently introduced.
- Cultivated in Manila, Los Baños, Laguna.
- Native of West Tropical Africa.
- Bark contains only a bitter principle and tannic acid.
- Studies have yielded naphthaquinones, iridoids, fatty acids, norviburtinal, sterols, lignans, terpenoid, flavonoids, and volatile constituents.
- Study isolated pinnatal in a root bark extract.
- Fruit extract yielded alkaloids, glycosides, terpenoids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, and reducing sugars.
- A flavanol glycoside has been isolated from the fruits.
- Study isolated kigelin as a major constituent of the plant from the root heartwood.
- Stigmasterol and lapachol have been isolated from the roots.
- Kigelin, ß-sitosterol, 3-dimethyl kigelin and ferulic acid have been isolated from the bark.
Bitter with astringent taste and smell.
In Nigeria, fruit is sold as medicine.
In Nyasaland, in times of scarcity, natives roast and eat the seeds.
- No reported medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In Africa, fruit used as laxative and for dysentery. Fruit also used for acne; fruit powder for wounds and ulcers. Powdered solution used as disinfectant. Fruit powder or slices used for breast firming; also used to reduce swelling and mastitis of the breasts. Plant has been used for its anti-implantation activities.
- In the Gold Coast the fruit, cut up and boiled with peppers, is given for constipation and piles while the bark and fruit are used to heal sores and to restore taste.
- Traditional use as an antileprotic.
- Root-bark has been used for cancer or the uterus.
- In Northern Nigeria, the bitter bark is use for both syphilis and gonorrhea.
- In Southern Nigeria, it is similarly used, and the fruit is used as a wash and drink for young children.
- In the Gold Coast, the bark is used for rheumatism and dysentery.
- The Tongas use the powdered fruit as a dressing for ulcers.
- In Central Africa, the unripe fruit is used as a dressing for rheumatism and syphilis.
- Shona people use the bark or roots powder or infusion for application to ulcers or drunk for the treatment of pneumonia, as gargle for toothache. Leaf compound applied to backaches.
- In West Africa, unripe fruit used as vermifuge and as treatment for piles and rheumatism.
- Other traditional African healers use it for a wide range of ailments: fungal infections, abscesses, psoriasis and eczema; internally, used for dysentery, ringworm, tape-worm, post-partum hemorrhage, malaria, diabetes, pneumonia and toothaches. The fruit is used to increase flow of milk in lactating women. Bark is traditionally used for treatment of syphilis and gonorrhea. Fruits and ground bark are boiled in water and taken orally or as an enema for treating children's ailments - usually worms. Venereal diseases treated with tree extracts in palm oil or as oral medication.
- Fermenting agent: In Africa, baked fruits are used to hasten beer fermentation..
- Cosmetics: Tonga women of the Zambezi valley use a cosmetic preparation of fruits to improved complexion and remove facial blemishes.
- Dye: Boiled fruits a red dye. Roots reported to yield a bright yellow dye.
- Fertility Ritual: In West Africa, the fruit presents as a symbol of phallus and fertility. Nursing women hang strips of fabric on the large fruits, asking for protection and numerous offspring.
- Feed: Leaves are an important livestock fodder. Fruits are sought after by monkeys and elephants.
• Antioxidant / Male Fertility Effect: Study on the antioxidant effect of KA fruit extract on normal rats showed a non-dose dependent elevation in testicular catalase, a significant decline in malondialdehyde and an up-regulation of glutathione. Results offer scientific basis for the use of Kigelia africana fruit extract in the treat of male infertility.
• Antibacterial: Study confirmed the antibacterial activity of K. africana fruits and stem bark.
• Antineoplastic: (1) Study of crude dichlormethane extracts of stem bark and fruit showed cytotoxic activity in vitro against cultured melanoma and other cancer cell lines. Major components were norviburtinal and ß-sitosterol. (2) Kigelia also contains lapachol which has been found effect in the treatment of solar keratosis, skin cancer and kaposis sarcoma.
• Analgesic/ Anti-Inflammatory: Study of stem bark showed significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect most likely via inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis.
• Antimalarial: Study isolated four naphthoquinoids from the root bark of the plant. Results showed good anti-plasmodial activity against chloroquine-resistant and chloroquine-sensitive strains of Plasmodium falciparum.
• CNS Stimulant: Study of ethanolic stem bark extract in mice showed a CNS stimulant effect as shown by a dose-dependent reduction of the duration of barbiturate-induced sleeping time. It suggests a potential for possible use in conditions associated with dizziness, drowsiness and sedation.
• Antiprotozoal: Study of stem bark and root bark extracts showed pronounced activity against both Trypanosoma brucei and T. b. rhodesiense bloodstream forms. A butanol stem extract showed in vitro antiamoebic activity.
• Antidiarrheal: Study of an aqueous leaf extract of K. africana showed antidiarrheal activity with reduced fecal output and protection from castor oil-induced diarrhea in extract-treated animals.
• Cosmetic: (1) Study yields steroidal saponins and two flavonoids (luteolin and quercitin). Reports claim the fruit extract is useful in developing the bust and reinforcing the strength and stability of breast collagen fibers. (2) Dermal preparations claim to remove sunspots ("solar keratosis") especially in the face and hands. Claims are also made for reduction of wrinkle depth and promotion of tone elasticity, reduction of skin blemishes.
• Verminoside / Anti-Inflammatory: Study of fruit extract yielded verminoside. In vitro assays showed it to have significant anti-inflammatory effects, inhibiting both iNOS expression and NO release.
• Anticonvulsant: Study of Kigelia pinnata showed an anti-seizure effect which may be due in part to linoleic acid, cinnamic acid, and/or flavonoid compounds in the extracts.
• Antidiarrheal / Spasmolytic: Study of E senegalensis and Kigelia africana showed significant reduction in the frequency of diarrhea stools and spontaneous propulsive movement of isolated rabbit jejunum. The spasmolytic effect may explain its use folkloric use in chronic abdominal pain and pains associated with diarrhea.
• Antiproliferative / Spasmolytic: Study of seed oils of K. africana, Mimusops zeyheri and Ximenia caffra on cell proliferation in culture showed suppression of of human colon adenoCA (Caco-2) and human embyonic kidney cells (HEK-293). Results suggest a potential antiproliferative effect of the seed oils on the cell lines.
• Chemoprotective / Cisplatin: Study of a fruit extract of K. africana (KAFE) in cisplastin treated male rats. While KAFE may protect against cisplatin-induced testicular damage, the study shows pretreatment may offer a better option in reducing cisplatin-induced damage to the testis in a mechanisms believed to be free-radical mediated.
• Antioxidant Screening / Antibacterial: Antioxidant screening of an aqueous extract yielded enzymatic antioxidants such as catalase, superoxide dismutase, ascorbate oxidase and non-enzymatic antioxidant ascorbic acid. The extract exhibited antibacterial activity against S. aureus, E. coli and P. vulgaris.
• Antifungal / Antibacterial: A crude ethanolic extract exhibited antibaterial and antifungal activities against Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans.
Seeds and extracts in the cybermarket.
Ingredients of various cosmetic and rejuvenating supplements.