Medicinal Plants of Sudan and Their Uses – Part 1

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Medicinal Plants of Sudan and their uses – part 1 is from the paper ‘Gems from traditional north-African medicine: medicinal and aromatic plants from Sudan’ by Hassan K HALID, Wail Elsadig A BDALLA, Haider A BDELGADIR, Till O PATZ, b and Thomas E FFERTH.
Below are the results of a research/study looking at the various medicinal plants of Sudan and their uses.

Table I. Medicinal plants from different vegetative regions of Sudan and their medicinal uses

Common medicinal plant species of the desert
Latin name
Local name
Medicinal use
Boscia senegalensisKursan;CapparaceaeShrub/Anti-rheumatic, against gonorrhea and
(Pers.) L+am.MukheitSmall treeurinary tract inflammations16;
 Anthelmintic, eye wash;17
 against tuberculosis15
Cadaba farinosa Forssk.SurrehCapparaceaeTomentose shrub/small treeTaenifuge, gargeled for tonsillitis15
Fagonia cretica L.UmmZygophyllaceaeSpinescent glabrous herbAgainst muscular pains;16 Antispasmodic,
 Shuwaikaantipurgative;17 against heart burn14
Ziziphus spina-christi L.SidirRhamnaceaeSpinescent treeAntispasmodic, against gonorrhea;15,16
Common medicinal plant species of the semi-desert
Acacia oerfota (Forssk.)La’otFabaceaeSpinescent shrubAnti-rheumatic;17
Schweinf.(Mimosoideae)against snake, against swelling & scorpi-
 on bites15,16
Acacia senegal (L.)HashabFabaceaeSpinescent small treeFor stomach ulcers, anti-diarrheal18
Balanites aegyptiaca (L.)HigleegBalanitaceaeSpinescent treePurgative;16,17,18 wound healing;16 anti-
Calotropis procera (Ait.)UsharAsclepiadaceaeAshy woody shrubAgainst scorpion bites and jaundice 15;
Ait.f.healing thorn injuries17;
 anti-rheumatic 18
Capparis decidua Forssk.TaundubCapparaceaeSpinescent glabrousAgainst jaundice 14,15,17;
 deciduous shrubto treat swelling 15;
 against headache 16;
 anti-rheumatic 15,17
Leptadenia pyrotechnicaMarakhAsclepiadaceaeGlabrous mostlyAnti-rheumatic 17,18
(Forssk.) DC.leafless shrubdiuretic17
Maerua crassifoliaSarahCapparaceaesmall pubescentAnti-rheumatic17
Forssk.evergreen tree
Salvadora persica L.ArakSalvadoraceaesmall evergreen treeDetergent for mouth, facilitates digestion
Senna alexandrina Mill.SennaFabaceaeGlabrousLaxative14,18;
(Cassia senna L.)Mekka(Caesalpinioideae)against gastro-intestinal disorders “GID”18
Ziziphus spina-christi LSidirRhamnaceaeSpinescent treeAntispasmodic15,16;
 against gonorrhea15
Common medicinal plant species of the thorn savannah and scrub
Acacia senegal (L.)HashabFabaceaeSpinescent small treeAgainst stomach ulcers, anti-diarrheal18
Acacia seyal Del.TalihFabaceaeSpinescent treeAnti-rheumatic, mouth detergent18
Albizzia amara (Roxb.)ArradaFabaceaeDeciduous treeAgainst jaundice, mouth inflammation
Boiv.(Mimosoideae)and chest pain15
 wound healing17
Balanites aegyptiaca (L.)HigleegBalanitaceaeSpinescent treePurgative15,16,17;
Del.wound healing16;
Cadaba glandulosaKurmutCapparaceaeGlandular many-branchedAgainst swelling14,15,17;
Calotropis procera (Ait.)UsharAsclepiadaceaeAshy woody shrubAnti-rheumatic, mouth detergent18
Dalbergia melanoxylonAbanousFabaceaeDeciduous multi-stemmedAnti-rheumatic15;
Guill. & Perr.(Papilionoideae)treeagainst heart pain16
Sclerocarya birreaHemaidAnacardiaceaeAshy glabrous treeAnti-spasmodic, anti-diarrheal15;
(A.Rich.) Hochst.Anthelmintic; wound healing18
Common medicinal plant species of the deciduous savannah
Acacia seyal Del.TalihFabaceaeSpinescent treeAnti-rheumatic, mouth detergent18
Albizzia amara (Roxb.)ArradaFabaceaeDeciduous treeAgainst jaundice, mouth inflammation
Boiv.(Mimosoideae)and chest pain15;
 wound healing17
Combretum hartmannia-HabeilCombretaceaGlabrous medium-sized treeAgainst jaundice15,17
Senegalensis(Desr.) A.MahoganyMeliaceaeDeciduous treeAnti-malarial, against hepatic inflamma-
tion, sinusitis, skin diseases, GID and
Terminalia brownieSobagh,CombretaceaeTreeAgainst cough and bronchitis17;
Common medicinal plant species of the flood region
Acacia polyacanthaAbu SineinaFabaceaeSpinescent treeAgainst jaundice and bilhariasis15
Acacia seyal Del.TalihFabaceaeSpinescent treeAgainst jaundice15,16
Balanites aegyptiaca (L.)HegleegBalanitaceaeSpinescent treeAnti-rheumatic mouth detergent
 HabeilCombretaceaeGlabrous medium-sized treePurgative15,16,17; wound healing16;
 anti-rheumatic14; anti-diabetic17
Hyphaene thebaica (L.)DoumArecaceaeTreeAgainst splenomegaly, alimentary
 (Palmae)system disorders and bacterial eye
Acacia senegal

Acacia senegal

Table II. The most important plants used in traditional Sudanese medicine. Selected examples of isolated compounds from these plants are compiled in Electronic Supplementary Material.

Latin Name
Local name
Folkloric Uses
1Acacia nilotica (L.) Willd. exGarad, SuntThe fruits are burned and the fumes are inhaled to treat colds43,44,45
Del. (Fabaceae, subfamily:and pharyngitis. The fruit macerates are used as anti-septic.
2Acacia senegal (L.) Willd.HashabStem exudates (gums) are used as demulcents and against46
(Fabaceae, subfamily:Samug Arabidiarrhoea and ulcers.
3Acacia seyal Del.TalihStem fumigant is used against rheumatic pain.47,48
(Fabaceae, subfamily:
4Adansonia digitata L.TabaldiThe fruits are used as a cold beverage, andare added to49
(Bombacaceae)Gongelezyoghurt for treatment of diarrhoea and amoebic dysentery.
5Aloe sinkatana Rey.SabarThe leaf juice is used in treatment of skin diseases,50
(Liliaceae)constipation, anthelmintic and haemorrhoids. The leaves are
 also used to treat fever, diabetic, tonsillitis and inflammation of
 the colon.
6Ambrosia maritima L.DamsisaThe herbs are used in treatment of urinary tract infections and51
(Asteraceae)elimination of kidneystones, whereas the leaves are used as
 anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive.
7Azadirachta indica J.Juss.NeemThe leaves are used to treat skin diseases, helminthiasis and52,53
8Balanites aegyptiaca (L.)Heglig ,Fruits are uses to treat dysentery and constipation. The seed oil54
Del. (Balanitaceae)Laloubis used to treat tumors and wounds.
9Boscia senegalensis (Pers.)AL KhirusanThe roots are used to treat bilharzia, the leaves are used as a55
Lam. ex Poir. (Capparaceae)poultice for muscular pains and the fruits are used in
 treatment of tuberculosis.
10Boswellia papyrifera (Del.)LubanManufacture of incense, an ingredient in plasters and56
Hochst. (Burseraceae)pastilles.
11Capsicum frutescence L.ShataThe fruits are used as a food spice and stomachic whereas the57
(Solanaceae)fruit macerate is used as anti-rheumatic.
12Citrullus colocynthis (L.)HandalThe fruits are used as anti-diabetic, purgative and for making17,58
Schard. (Cucurbitaceae)tar, which is used as an anti-scabies treatment.
13Croton zambesicus Mull-Arg.Habat ElThe fruits are used as an anti-malarial treatment.59,60,61
14Cucurbita maxima L.Garah AslaiThe seeds are used as an anthelmintic and to treat skin
15Cymbopogon commutatus
16Cymbopogon nervatusNalAntispasmodic
17Cymbopogon proximusMaharebThe leaves are used to treat gout, renal colic, helminthiasis,64,65
(Hochst. ex A. Rich) Stapf.and inflammation of the prostate.
18Grewia tenax ( Forssk.) Fiori.GodeimThe fruits are used to treat malaria and iron deficiency66
19Guiera senegalensisGubeishThe leaves are used as anti-hypertensive and anti-diabetic.67,68,69
J.F.Gmel. (Combretaceae)
20Hibiscus sabdariffa L.KarkadeThe sepals are used as hot and cold beverages and to treat70,71
(Malvaceae)Angarahypertension, colds, and fever and with other plants to treat
21Khaya senegalensis (Desr.)MahognyThe stem bark is used to treat malaria, hepatic inflammations72,73
A. Juss. (Meliaceae)and enteriogasteritis. The leaves are used to treat skin
 diseases and trachoma.
22Lawsonia inermis L.HennaThe leaves are used as anti-pyretic, for treatment of urinary74
(Lytheraceae)tract infections, skin diseases and alopecia.
23Nauclia latifolia Sm.KarmadodaThe roots are used for dysentery and as a tonic whereas the75,76
(Rubiaceae)bark is used for abdominal colic.
24Ocimum basilicum L.RehanThe leaves and stems are used in treatment of jaundice,77
(Lamiaceae).ascitis, spasm, parturition pain and scorpion stings.
25Phoenix dactylifera L.Balah,The fruits are used to treat constipation branchial asthma and78
(Palmae/Arecaceae)Tamurtonsillitis. The pollen grains are mixed with bee-honey and
 ginger to increase fertility.
26Ricinus communis L.KhirowiThe seed oil is used as a purgative and hair tonic and the whole79,80
(Euphorbiaceae)seed is ingested as a contraceptive. The leaves are used as a
 poultice in treatment of abscesses.
27Salvadora persica L.ArakThe fruits are used to treat hypertension, stomach-pain and81,82
(Salvadoraceae)wounds, whereas the leaf-fibers are used to treat eye-infection.
28Senna alexandrina Mill.Sena MacaThe fruits are used as laxative and to treat gastroenteritis.83,84,85
(Fabaceae, subfamily
29Sesamum indicum L.SimsimThe seed oil is used alone or in combination of other drugs to86,87
(Pedialiaceae)treat tumours, skin diseases, alopecia, cough, colds,
 tonsillitis and fever.
30Solanum nigrum L.Inab EldeebThe fruits are used for gastroenteritis and colic pain.88
31Solenostemma argel (Del.)HargelThe leaves are used as an antispasmodic, carminative and as an89,90
Hayne (Asclepiadaceae)anti-diabetic.
32Tamarindus indica L.ArdebThe fruits are used in treatments of constipation, malaria and91
(Fabaceae, subfamilyjaundice.
33Terminalia brownii Fresen.ShafThe stem and branch fumigants are used to treat rheumatic and
(Combretaceae)back pains.
34Trigonella foenum-graceumHilbaThe seeds are used as antidiarrheal, anti-spasmodic, anti-92,93
L. (Fabaceae, subfamilyamoeba dysentery and anti-diabetics. The seeds are also used
Papilionoideae)as a food additive and to increase secretion of lactating
 mothers and to facilitate expulsion of the placenta.


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