Phytochemicals, bioactivity, and ethnopharmacological potential of selected indigenous plants




bioactivity, ethnopharmacological usage, phytochemistry, traditional medicine, wild plant


The coastal regions of Africa are endowed with indigenous wild fruit plants rich in nutritional and medicinal phytochemicals and micronutrients. South African wild fruit plants complement the diet and health needs of rural poor households by providing vital dietary nutrients and remedies for various health concerns, and alleviating food insecurity. Milk plum, Natal plum, wild custard apple, and wild medlar medicinal plants are found mainly in the coastal provinces of South Africa. Studies have established that these plants are good sources of vitamins, essential elements, and bioactive phytocompounds such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, and terpenoids, which demonstrate significant antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities. The plants studied possess anti-epileptic, antiplasmodial, and snake antivenom qualities. Here we highlight the views of different reports on ethnopharmacological relevance, phytochemistry, and bioactivity of the selected South African indigenous medicinal plants. We found a research gap in the phytochemical composition and phytopharmacological activity evaluation of Carissa macrocarpa and Englerophytum magalismontanum.


  • South African indigenous medicinal plants augment the dietary and other health needs of the rural populace. The phytochemistry and phytopharmacological activities of C. macrocarpa and E. magalismontanum have been only partially studied, hence the need for further studies to examine their worth and possible use in cosmetic product enrichment.


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How to Cite

Achilonu, M. C., Ngubane, X. V., Nkosi, S. M., & Jiyane, P. C. (2023). Phytochemicals, bioactivity, and ethnopharmacological potential of selected indigenous plants. South African Journal of Science, 119(1/2).



Review Article