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Medicinal Plants of Sudan and Their Uses – Part 1

Guiera senegalensis

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 senegalensis Kursan; Capparaceae Shrub/ Anti-rheumatic, against gonorrhea and
(Pers.) L+am. Mukheit Small tree urinary tract inflammations16;
  Anthelmintic, eye wash;17
  against tuberculosis15
Cadaba farinosa Forssk. Surreh Capparaceae Tomentose shrub/small tree Taenifuge, gargeled for tonsillitis15
Fagonia cretica L. Umm Zygophyllaceae Spinescent glabrous herb Against muscular pains;16 Antispasmodic,
  Shuwaika antipurgative;17 against heart burn14
Ziziphus spina-christi L. Sidir Rhamnaceae Spinescent tree Antispasmodic, against gonorrhea;15,16
Common medicinal plant species of the semi-desert
Acacia oerfota (Forssk.) La’ot Fabaceae Spinescent shrub Anti-rheumatic;17
Schweinf. (Mimosoideae) against snake, against swelling & scorpi-
  on bites15,16
Acacia senegal (L.) Hashab Fabaceae Spinescent small tree For stomach ulcers, anti-diarrheal18
Willd. (Mimosoideae)
Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Higleeg Balanitaceae Spinescent tree Purgative;16,17,18 wound healing;16 anti-
Del. rheumatic;14
Calotropis procera (Ait.) Ushar Asclepiadaceae Ashy woody shrub Against scorpion bites and jaundice 15;
Ait.f. healing thorn injuries17;
  anti-rheumatic 18
Capparis decidua Forssk. Taundub Capparaceae Spinescent glabrous Against jaundice 14,15,17;
  deciduous shrub to treat swelling 15;
  against headache 16;
  anti-rheumatic 15,17
Leptadenia pyrotechnica Marakh Asclepiadaceae Glabrous mostly Anti-rheumatic 17,18
(Forssk.) DC. leafless shrub diuretic17
Maerua crassifolia Sarah Capparaceae small pubescent Anti-rheumatic17
Forssk. evergreen tree
Salvadora persica L. Arak Salvadoraceae small evergreen tree Detergent for mouth, facilitates digestion
Senna alexandrina Mill. Senna Fabaceae Glabrous Laxative14,18;
(Cassia senna L.) Mekka (Caesalpinioideae) against gastro-intestinal disorders “GID”18
Ziziphus spina-christi L Sidir Rhamnaceae Spinescent tree Antispasmodic15,16;
  against gonorrhea15
Common medicinal plant species of the thorn savannah and scrub
Acacia senegal (L.) Hashab Fabaceae Spinescent small tree Against stomach ulcers, anti-diarrheal18
Willd. (Mimosoideae)
Acacia seyal Del. Talih Fabaceae Spinescent tree Anti-rheumatic, mouth detergent18
Albizzia amara (Roxb.) Arrada Fabaceae Deciduous tree Against jaundice, mouth inflammation
Boiv. (Mimosoideae) and chest pain15
  wound healing17
Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Higleeg Balanitaceae Spinescent tree Purgative15,16,17;
Del. wound healing16;
Cadaba glandulosa Kurmut Capparaceae Glandular many-branched Against swelling14,15,17;
Forssk. shrub anti-rheumatic16
Calotropis procera (Ait.) Ushar Asclepiadaceae Ashy woody shrub Anti-rheumatic, mouth detergent18
Dalbergia melanoxylon Abanous Fabaceae Deciduous multi-stemmed Anti-rheumatic15;
Guill. & Perr. (Papilionoideae) tree against heart pain16
Sclerocarya birrea Hemaid Anacardiaceae Ashy glabrous tree Anti-spasmodic, anti-diarrheal15;
(A.Rich.) Hochst. Anthelmintic; wound healing18
Common medicinal plant species of the deciduous savannah
Acacia seyal Del. Talih Fabaceae Spinescent tree Anti-rheumatic, mouth detergent18
Albizzia amara (Roxb.) Arrada Fabaceae Deciduous tree Against jaundice, mouth inflammation
Boiv. (Mimosoideae) and chest pain15;
  wound healing17
Combretum hartmannia- Habeil Combretacea Glabrous medium-sized tree Against jaundice15,17
Senegalensis(Desr.) A. Mahogany Meliaceae Deciduous tree Anti-malarial, against hepatic inflamma-
tion, sinusitis, skin diseases, GID and
Terminalia brownie Sobagh, Combretaceae Tree Against cough and bronchitis17;
  Shaff anti-rheumatic18
Common medicinal plant species of the flood region
Acacia polyacantha Abu Sineina Fabaceae Spinescent tree Against jaundice and bilhariasis15
Acacia seyal Del. Talih Fabaceae Spinescent tree Against jaundice15,16
Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Hegleeg Balanitaceae Spinescent tree Anti-rheumatic mouth detergent
  Habeil Combretaceae Glabrous medium-sized tree Purgative15,16,17; wound healing16;
  anti-rheumatic14; anti-diabetic17
Hyphaene thebaica (L.) Doum Arecaceae Tree Against 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
1 Acacia nilotica (L.) Willd. ex Garad, Sunt The fruits are burned and the fumes are inhaled to treat colds 43,44,45
Del. (Fabaceae, subfamily: and pharyngitis. The fruit macerates are used as anti-septic.
2 Acacia senegal (L.) Willd. Hashab Stem exudates (gums) are used as demulcents and against 46
(Fabaceae, subfamily: Samug Arabi diarrhoea and ulcers.
3 Acacia seyal Del. Talih Stem fumigant is used against rheumatic pain. 47,48
(Fabaceae, subfamily:
4 Adansonia digitata L. Tabaldi The fruits are used as a cold beverage, andare added to 49
(Bombacaceae) Gongelez yoghurt for treatment of diarrhoea and amoebic dysentery.
5 Aloe sinkatana Rey. Sabar The 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.
6 Ambrosia maritima L. Damsisa The herbs are used in treatment of urinary tract infections and 51
(Asteraceae) elimination of kidneystones, whereas the leaves are used as
  anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive.
7 Azadirachta indica J.Juss. Neem The leaves are used to treat skin diseases, helminthiasis and 52,53
(Meliaceae) malaria.
8 Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Heglig , Fruits are uses to treat dysentery and constipation. The seed oil 54
Del. (Balanitaceae) Laloub is used to treat tumors and wounds.
9 Boscia senegalensis (Pers.) AL Khirusan The roots are used to treat bilharzia, the leaves are used as a 55
Lam. ex Poir. (Capparaceae) poultice for muscular pains and the fruits are used in
  treatment of tuberculosis.
10 Boswellia papyrifera (Del.) Luban Manufacture of incense, an ingredient in plasters and 56
Hochst. (Burseraceae) pastilles.
11 Capsicum frutescence L. Shata The fruits are used as a food spice and stomachic whereas the 57
(Solanaceae) fruit macerate is used as anti-rheumatic.
12 Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Handal The fruits are used as anti-diabetic, purgative and for making 17,58
Schard. (Cucurbitaceae) tar, which is used as an anti-scabies treatment.
13 Croton zambesicus Mull-Arg. Habat El The fruits are used as an anti-malarial treatment. 59,60,61
(Euphorbiaceae) Malook
14 Cucurbita maxima L. Garah Aslai The seeds are used as an anthelmintic and to treat skin
(Cucurbitaceae) diseases.
15 Cymbopogon commutatus
16 Cymbopogon nervatus Nal Antispasmodic
17 Cymbopogon proximus Mahareb The leaves are used to treat gout, renal colic, helminthiasis, 64,65
(Hochst. ex A. Rich) Stapf. and inflammation of the prostate.
18 Grewia tenax ( Forssk.) Fiori. Godeim The fruits are used to treat malaria and iron deficiency 66
(Tiliaceae) anaemia.
19 Guiera senegalensis Gubeish The leaves are used as anti-hypertensive and anti-diabetic. 67,68,69
J.F.Gmel. (Combretaceae)
20 Hibiscus sabdariffa L. Karkade The sepals are used as hot and cold beverages and to treat 70,71
(Malvaceae) Angara hypertension, colds, and fever and with other plants to treat
21 Khaya senegalensis (Desr.) Mahogny The stem bark is used to treat malaria, hepatic inflammations 72,73
A. Juss. (Meliaceae) and enteriogasteritis. The leaves are used to treat skin
  diseases and trachoma.
22 Lawsonia inermis L. Henna The leaves are used as anti-pyretic, for treatment of urinary 74
(Lytheraceae) tract infections, skin diseases and alopecia.
23 Nauclia latifolia Sm. Karmadoda The roots are used for dysentery and as a tonic whereas the 75,76
(Rubiaceae) bark is used for abdominal colic.
24 Ocimum basilicum L. Rehan The leaves and stems are used in treatment of jaundice, 77
(Lamiaceae). ascitis, spasm, parturition pain and scorpion stings.
25 Phoenix dactylifera L. Balah, The fruits are used to treat constipation branchial asthma and 78
(Palmae/Arecaceae) Tamur tonsillitis. The pollen grains are mixed with bee-honey and
  ginger to increase fertility.
26 Ricinus communis L. Khirowi The seed oil is used as a purgative and hair tonic and the whole 79,80
(Euphorbiaceae) seed is ingested as a contraceptive. The leaves are used as a
  poultice in treatment of abscesses.
27 Salvadora persica L. Arak The fruits are used to treat hypertension, stomach-pain and 81,82
(Salvadoraceae) wounds, whereas the leaf-fibers are used to treat eye-infection.
28 Senna alexandrina Mill. Sena Maca The fruits are used as laxative and to treat gastroenteritis. 83,84,85
(Fabaceae, subfamily
29 Sesamum indicum L. Simsim The seed oil is used alone or in combination of other drugs to 86,87
(Pedialiaceae) treat tumours, skin diseases, alopecia, cough, colds,
  tonsillitis and fever.
30 Solanum nigrum L. Inab Eldeeb The fruits are used for gastroenteritis and colic pain. 88
31 Solenostemma argel (Del.) Hargel The leaves are used as an antispasmodic, carminative and as an 89,90
Hayne (Asclepiadaceae) anti-diabetic.
32 Tamarindus indica L. Ardeb The fruits are used in treatments of constipation, malaria and 91
(Fabaceae, subfamily jaundice.
33 Terminalia brownii Fresen. Shaf The stem and branch fumigants are used to treat rheumatic and
(Combretaceae) back pains.
34 Trigonella foenum-graceum Hilba The seeds are used as antidiarrheal, anti-spasmodic, anti- 92,93
L. (Fabaceae, subfamily amoeba 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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