Alchornea cordifolia Müll. Arg. - syn. Alchornea cordata Benth. - Euphorbiaceae - Christmas tree, Christmas bush
Evergreen shrub or tree, up to 10m high, native to the tropical Africa; leaves alternate, ovate-elliptic, cordate, longer petioled; male axillary inflorescences 30cm long, with small pale green flowers; female flowers with 2-3 dark red styles; fruit a hairy, green to red colored capsule with scarlet ovoid seeds.
The 50% aqueous ethanol extract of A. cordifolia showed antimicrobial ativity especially against gram-positive bacteria and some yeasts with inhibitory concentrations under 5 mg/mL.
[Antimicrobial spectrum of Alchornea cordifolia leaf extract., Okeke, I.N., Ogundaini, A.O., Ogungbamila, F.O., Lamikanra, A., Phytotherapy Research, 13(1), 1999, 67-69]
Some fractions of a methanolic A.cordifolia leaf extract, notably those containing phenolics and terpenoids, exhibited significant antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli.
[Antimicrobial activities of Alchornea cordifolia., Ebi, G.C., Fitoterapia, 72(1), 2001, 69-72]
„Alchornea cordifolia is one of the most widely-used plants in traditional medicine throughout Africa, principally for inflammatory, antimicrobial and parasitic diseases. In continuation of our investigations on its anti-inflammatory activity, we fractionated the leaf and root bark extracts and isolated six compounds which exhibited significant topical anti-inflammatory activity in the mouse ear oedema model using croton oil at a dose of 90 μg/cm2. Daucosterol (2), acetyl aleuritolic acid (4), N1,N2-diisopentenyl guanidine (5) and N1,N2,N3-triisopentenyl guanidine (6) were shown to be more active than indomethacin, while β-sitosterol (1) and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (3) were less effective. This is the first report on the presence of compounds 1, 2, 3 and 4 in this plant and of the anti-inflammatory activity of 3, 5 and 6. These compounds may account, at least in part, for the use of A. cordifolia in folk medicine to treat inflammation.“
[Anti-inflammatory compounds from leaves and root bark of Alchornea cordifolia (Schumach. & Thonn.) Müll. Arg., Mavar-Manga, H., Haddad, M., Pieters, L., Baccelli, C., Penge, A., Quetin-Leclercq, J., Journal of ethnopharmacology, 115(1), 2008, 25-29]
As the leaves of Alchornea floribunda and Alchornea cordifolia are used traditionally as topical anti-inflammatory agents, two highly lipophilic fractions isolated from A. floribunda and A. cordifolia leaves were investigated for topical anti-inflammatory effects using xylene-induced mice ear oedema. Compared to indomethacin, these fractions showed significantly higher topical anti-inflammatory effect. The leaf extract of A.floribunda was composed mainly of long chain saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons (18.7%) and their oxygenated derivatives (1.8%), while the A.cordifolia leaf extract was rich in volatile oil with eugenol (21.2%), cadinol (4.6%), nanocosaine (36.8%) and steroid derivatives, ethyl iso-allocholate (4.5%) and 3-acetoxy-7,8-epoxylanostan-1-ol (15.8%). [Topical anti-inflammatory constituents of lipophilic leaf fractions of Alchornea floribunda and Alchornea cordifolia., Okoye, F.B.C., Osadebe, P.O., Nworu, C.S., Okoye, N.N., Omeje, E.O., Esimone, C.O., Natural product research, 25(20), 2011, 1941-1949]
Engler, H.G.A., Das Pflanzenreich, Euphorbiaceae - Acalypheae - Mercurialinae, vol.147 [Heft 63], p.231, f.34 A-C (1914)