Kigelia africana (Lam.) Benth. - syn.Kigelia pinnata (Jacq.) DC.; Kigelia abyssinica A.Rich.; Crescentia pinnata Jacq.; Bignonia africana Lam. - Bignoniaceae
Evergreen or deciduous tree, up to 12m high, native to tropical Africa; leaves opposite, odd-pinnate, 20-60cm long; leaflets ovate, elliptic or obovate; flowers big, opening at night and falling down at morning, with unpleasant smell, dark red or maroon-coloured, borne on pedulous stalks adapting them to pollination by bats; fruits long (30-90cm), thick (10-18cm), heavy (5-8kg), fleshy, grey, rounded on both ends, liverwurst-like, with scabrous bark and numerous seeds in the pulp.
The fruit, rarely the bark, is used for wound-healing and skin care.
[Medicinal Plants of the World. Ben-Erik Van Wyk and Michael Wink, Pretoria 2004, 185]
„Kigelia africana is a plant used in Africa for anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-skin-aging effects. Various papers have reported on the composition and biological activities of its CH2Cl2 extracts and dermal formulations. Chemical analysis of a polar extract of fruit from K. africana indicated the presence of verminoside (1), an iridoid, as a major constituent, and of a series of polyphenols such as verbascoside (2). In vitro assays showed that 1 had significant anti-inflammatory effects, inhibiting both iNOS expression and NO release in the LPS-induced J774.A1 macrophage cell line. Cytotoxicity and cutaneous irritation of the extract and of compounds 1 and 2 were investigated. The crude extract and 1 did not affect cell viability in vitro either in cells grown in monolayers (ML) or in the reconstituted human epidermis (RHE, 3D) model; neither caused release of pro-inflammatory mediators or histomorphological modification of RHE.“
[Anti-inflammatory Activity of Verminoside from Kigelia a fricana and Evaluation of Cutaneous Irritation in Cell Cultures and Reconstituted Human Epidermis., Picerno, P., Autore, G., Marzocco, S., Meloni, M., Sanogo, R., Aquino, R. P., Journal of natural products, Vol.68(11), 2005, 1610-1614]
Verminoside (6-O-(3,4-Dimethoxycinnamoyl)-catalpol), also found in Kigelia pinnata, has twofold antiamoebic activity against Entamoeba histolytica compared to the standard drug metronidazole.
[Isolation and in vitro antiamoebic activity of iridoids isolated from Kigelia pinnata., Bharti, N., Singh, S., Naqvi, F., Azam, A. Arkivoc, Vol.10, 2006, 69-76] http://www.arkat-usa.org/get-file/23545/
Richard,A., Tentamen florae Abyssinicae, Atlas, t.75 (1851) [A.C.Vauthier]