About the Author(s)

Olufunke Omowumi Fajinmi Email symbol
Department of Nature Conservation, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, South Africa

Olaoluwa O. Olarewaju symbol
Department of Nature Conservation, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, South Africa

Georgina D. Arthur symbol
Department of Nature Conservation, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, South Africa

Kuben Naidoo symbol
Department of Nature Conservation, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, South Africa

Roger Coopoosamy symbol
Department of Nature Conservation, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, South Africa


Fajinmi, O.O., Olarewaju, O.O., Arthur, G.D., Naidoo, K. & Coopoosamy, R., 2022, ‘Cucurbitaceae species used as traditional medicine in West Africa’, Journal of Medicinal Plants for Economic Development 6(1), a163. https://doi.org/10.4102/jomped.v6i1.163

Review Article

Cucurbitaceae species used as traditional medicine in West Africa

Olufunke Omowumi Fajinmi, Olaoluwa O. Olarewaju, Georgina D. Arthur, Kuben Naidoo, Roger Coopoosamy

Received: 14 Apr. 2022; Accepted: 09 June 2022; Published: 29 Nov. 2022

Copyright: © 2022. The Author(s). Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background: The use of some Cucurbitaceae species for the treatment of diseases is an ancient practice in traditional medicine systems in Africa and the cucurbitacins among others have been reported to be responsible for most of these healing activities.

Aim: This review discusses the relevance of Cucurbitaceae species in traditional medicine in some west African countries.

Methods: A literature search was conducted on electronic databases such as Google Books, Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science. The search involved the use of several terms and free text words which include ‘Cucurbitaceae species in West Africa traditional medicine’; ‘medicinal plants of the Cucurbitaceae family used to treat diseases in west African communities’.

Results: Several Cucurbitaceae species are used in the region either in similar ways or different ways for the treatment of different diseases. The leaves are the most utilised plant parts and decoctions are the most common method of preparation. From this study, 18 species of Cucurbitaceae used for medicinal purposes were reviewed from Nigeria; 4 from Benin, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali, respectively; 1 from Togo; 5 from Senegal; 9 from Cameroon and 3 from Gabon and Burkina Faso, respectively. Momordica charantia and Momordica balsamina are often utilised for abortion in some west African countries. Momordica species and Lagenaria breviflora are utilised to treat diabetes, cough related to respiratory infections and viral infections such as measles and chickenpox

Conclusions: In-depth research into these plants could help to develop a natural, novel cure for diabetes and coronavirus (COVID-19) and effective, cheap contraceptive.

Contribution: This review highlights the significant role of Cucurbitaceae species in the treatment of a wide range of diseases and health issues in the WestAfrican traditional medicine system. The information provided could be used as a guide by research scientists for the formulation of natural products to cure a variety of diseases.

Keywords: Cucurbitaceae species; traditional medicine; West African countries; Momordica charantia; Lagenaria breviflorus.


Traditional medicine is an integral part of the African culture and essential in every part of human life, ranging from daily living and wholeness of the body, mind and soul. The Cucurbitaceae species are highly utilised in Africa for food and medicinal purposes (Olarewaju et al. 2021). It has about 960 species and 130 genera distributed mostly in tropical and subtropical regions of the world (Dhiman et al. 2012; Schaffer & Paris 2003). Several domesticated species of the Cucurbitaceae have their centre of origin in tropical Africa (Kirkbride 1993), and this family is one of the most important plant families as a result of its global impact and vast medicinal usage (Olarewaju et al. 2021). The species of the family are often referred to as cucurbits, and the fruit, seeds and leaves of some species are traditionally utilised in various Ayurvedic preparations and confectionaries (Dhiman et al. 2012). The family is amongst the most important plant families which supply humans with edible products and useful fibres (Bisognin 2002).

Several species of Cucurbitaceae are considered to have medicinal properties because of the presence of cucurbitacins, a compound of great interest because of its wide range of biological activities in humans and animals (Dhiman et al. 2012). Cucurbitacin is gaining attention as a potential anticancer drug (Lee, Iwanski & Thoennissen 2010). Patents exist for cucurbitacins in preparing medicine used for treating acne (Deng & She 2011) and cancer (Deng & Meixia 2007), amongst several others. Species of Cucurbitaceae are used as traditional medicine in different parts of West Africa to treat various diseases and infections. Some Cucurbitaceae species are linked to the history of the Africans (Fajinmi et al. 2022), and their use in the African culture and food has been recorded in literature. However, the relevance of the family in the West African traditional medicine system is not well highlighted in the literature. It is therefore important to document the species, plant parts used and method of preparation as this will highlight species that are highly revered in the traditional medicine system of West Africa and could give impetus to the formulation of natural products that could be of great benefit to the African populace.

Aims and objectives

The study aimed to review the use of Cucurbitaceae species in traditional medicine in West African countries. The objectives of the study were to review Cucurbitaceae species used to treat diseases in the West African countries, which plant parts are used and the preparation methods, which species or genus is commonly used in West African countries for similar purposes and the safety of using plant species of the Cucurbitaceae family.


The literature search was conducted on electronic databases such as Google Books, Google Scholar, Scopus, Web of Science and African Journals Online. The search involved the use of several terms and free text words (which included ‘Cucurbitaceae species in West Africa traditional medicine’; ‘medicinal plants of the Cucurbitaceae family used in West Africa’; ‘Cucurbitaceae species used to treat diseases in West African rural communities’; ‘record of plants popularly used in communities in West Africa to treat diseases’) and appropriately combining them. The search also focused on old literature with crucial information about the medicinal use of Cucurbitaceae species in the history of the West Africans. The authors further set inclusion and exclusion criteria to screen for relevant articles. Each of the identified articles was independently reviewed to determine eligibility and extract study information.

Review findings

The family Cucurbitaceae is amongst the most frequently mentioned family of plants in several surveys of the plants used for traditional medicine in different parts of West Africa. Several species of Cucurbitaceae are recorded in the literature for the treatment of various ailments and diseases in West African countries. Although some information is not available in the literature, Table 1, Table 2, Table 3, Table 4, Table 5, Table 6, Table 7 and Table 8 display the plant parts and preparation methods of some Cucurbitaceae family plants used for medicinal purposes.

TABLE 1: Cucurbitaceae species used as traditional medicine in Nigeria.
TABLE 2: Cucurbitaceae species used as traditional medicine in Benin.
TABLE 3: Cucurbitaceae species used as traditional medicine in Ghana.
TABLE 4: Cucurbitaceae species used as traditional medicine in Côte d’Ivoire.
TABLE 5: Cucurbitaceae species used as traditional medicine in Mali and Togo.
TABLE 6: Cucurbitaceae species used as traditional medicine in Senegal.
TABLE 7: Cucurbitaceae species used as traditional medicine in Gabon and Burkina Faso.
TABLE 8: Cucurbitaceae species used as traditional medicine in Cameroon.

Table 1 highlights Cucurbitaceae species used in traditional medicine in Nigeria. These include Cucumeropsis mannii, Lagenaria breviflora, Citrullus colocynthis, Citrullus lanatus and Momordica charantia, which are used for the treatment of diabetes. Some of the species, such as M. charantia, are used to treat multiple ailments and diseases. For example, M. charantia can be used to treat diabetes, female infertility, painful menstruation and to regulate menses, whilst C. colocynthis can be used for treating both syphilis and measles. Lagenaria breviflora are also used for cough-related respiratory infections and measles. Other species used for medicinal purposes include C. lanatus, which can be used to treat gonorrhoea and leucorrhoea in women, as well as Cucumis metuliferus and Momordica balsamina for treating breast cancer. Telfairia occidentalis serves as a blood tonic and is used for the treatment of convulsion, headache and anaemia. Cucumis metuliferus and M. balsamina are used for malignant ulcers. Hence, about 18 species of Cucurbitaceae are used for the treatment of a variety of ailments, as shown in Table 1. Meanwhile, the leaves are the most used plant parts whilst decoction is the most recorded method of preparation.

The M. charantia is the most utilised species of the Cucurbitaceae in African countries, and its traditional use includes the treatment of measles, chickenpox, diabetes, malaria, stomach pain, urticaria, candidiasis, headaches, diarrhoea, intern parasitosis, stomach ulcer and vomit in cattle in Benin (Table 2). Similarly, the species are used traditionally to treat ailments and diseases such as abdominal pains, fever and measles, gonorrhoea, diabetes, headache, snakebite and mental and nervous system disorders in Ghana (Table 3), Côte d’Ivoire (Table 4), Mali, Togo (Table 5), Senegal (Table 6), Gabon, Burkina Faso (Table 7) and Cameroon (Table 8). Mali has four Cucurbitaceae species (Citrullus vulgaris, Cucurbita pepo, Lagenaria siceraria and M. charantia) recorded for use as traditional medicine, and their usage involves the treatment of boils and wounds (Table 5). However, to the best of our knowledge, M. charantia is the only Cucurbitaceae species reported in the literature with traditional medicine application in Togo (Table 5). Therefore, further studies should investigate other species of Cucurbitaceae used as natural remedies for various maladies and diseases in the country. Species used as traditional medicine in Senegal include Cucurbita maxima, Luffa acutangula, Mukia maderaspatana, M. balsamina and M. charantia (Table 6). Cucurbitaceae species used as traditional medicine in Cameroon include C. maxima, M. charantia, Momordica foetida, T. occidentalis, Coccinia barteri, C. mannii, M. maderaspatana and Zehneria scabra (Table 8). However, the most utilised species are M. charantia and M. foetida, which are mostly used to induce abortion, amongst other uses.

Momordica species have been mentioned in a majority of the West African countries studied (Adelanwa 2014; Aguwa & Mittal 1983; Ajibesin, Bala & Umoh 2012; Beloin et al. 2005; Boadu & Asase 2017; Bonkian et al. 2017; Édouard & Kouassi 2009; Gbekley et al. 2017; Jiofack et al. 2009; Karou et al. 2012; Koffi, Henri & Ouattara 2010; Lagnika et al. 2016; Madingou et al. 2012; Malan, Neuba & Kouakou 2015; Okeke et al. 2009; Ouachinou et al. 2019; Sonibare, Moody & Adesanya 2009; Yemele et al. 2015). In an ethnobotanical survey of three local government areas of the Ijebu area of Ogun State in southwest Nigeria, Cucurbitaceae species are the most frequently mentioned for the treatment of measles (Sonibare et al. 2009). The ‘musk’, Cucurbita moschata, is rarely found growing in the wild but occasionally grows on dumpsites in most parts of south-eastern Nigeria (Agbagwa, Ndukwu & Mensah 2007). Hence, they are often harvested from dumpsites or cultivated fields for use as traditional medicine.

Lagenaria breviflora, referred to as itagiri in Yoruba, is a potent antiviral plant whose fruit is used to ward off viral diseases such as chickenpox and measles by placing it under the bed (Oridupa 2011). Lagenaria breviflora fruit is a major item of trade in the western region of Nigeria and has a long history of use for the prevention and treatment of viral infections such as human chickenpox, smallpox, measles and Newcastle disease in fowl (Arowosegbe, Olanipekun & Kayode 2015; Oridupa & Saba 2013). In Nigeria, the plant is often used in animal production because of its antimicrobial properties, and it is assumed to improve the immunity of broiler birds against infections (Nworgu et al. 2018). The fruits of L. breviflora are used to induce abortion in Nigeria (Elujoba, Olagbende & Adesina 1985). It grows in all parts of Nigeria and is available in the market throughout the year (Nworgu et al. 2018). Similarly, the plants are sold in large quantities in medicinal plant markets and on the ubiquitous roadside stalls in the Benin (Quiroz et al. 2014). This review highlights the use of M. charantia, L. breviflora and some other Cucurbitaceae species for the treatment of viral infections such as chickenpox and measles amongst others.

Beloin et al. (2015) investigated the similarity between the medicinal traditions of the general population as regards the use of M. charantia and the knowledge of traditional healers regarding the specialised use of the plant in Togo. The most important usage of this plant was for the treatment of gastrointestinal and viral infections in children (Beloin et al. 2015). In addition to being used in gynaecology to induce abortion, the traditional healers reported that it is often used to treat diabetes and fever caused by infections (Beloin et al. 2015). In Togo, M. charantia is one of the most important local medicinal plants utilised for both ritual and medicinal purposes (Beloin et al. 2015). Similarly, M. foetida is amongst the medicinal plants used in the Oku Mountain Forest of Cameroon to treat dystocia (Neba 2006).

Momordica charantia and M. foetida are used as abortifacients in the Beau region of Cameroon. This is done by grinding the seeds, rolling the pulverised seed into a ball-like structure and then inserting into the vagina. The foetus would be expelled after three days with severe pain and haemorrhage, whilst overdoses lead to death and frequent genital infections (Noumi & Djeumen 2007). Momordica charantia seed extract had a significant postcoital anti-implantation and early abortifacient effect in female Sprague–Dawley rats with slight vaginal bleeding (Amah, Yama & Noronha 2012).

Toxicity in Cucurbitaceae species

Some poisonous wild species of Cucurbitaceae share a close resemblance with the edible species. Many plants in this family are toxic (Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk 1962) and not all member species have been investigated for toxicity and safety for human consumption. Hence, proper identification is needed before the harvesting of Cucurbitaceae species for medicinal purposes. Several cases of poisoning in humans and animals because of consumption of poisonous species of Cucurbitaceae have been reported (Chan, Zhang & Lin 2012; Goldfain et al. 1989; Khan et al. 2003; Nadkarni, D’Cruz & Sachdev 2010; Njoroge & Newton 1994; Rymal et al. 1984; Verdcourt & Trump 1969). The public should be educated that bitter-tasting bottle gourd juice (Sharma et al., 2012) and bitter fruits of other Cucurbitaceae species should not be consumed, as the bitter taste is an indication of the presence of cucurbitacin.


The Cucurbitaceae family has many species of great medicinal value which play vital roles in the traditional medicine systems in Africa. Several Cucurbitaceae species are utilised for the treatment of a variety of diseases and infections in West Africa. It is particularly noteworthy that a lot of these species are used as laxatives or purgatives. Momordica charantia is used in almost all African countries, thus explaining why it is highly revered in the West African traditional medicine system. Its use as an abortifacient is becoming more popular, especially amongst teenage girls and young women, but could lead to a high mortality rate amongst teenage girls because of indiscriminate use and overdosage. Hence, future research should focus on investigating the number of fresh leaves of M. charantia and M. balsamina needed to prepare traditional abortifacients and contraceptives. The controlled use of this plant as a contraceptive could help to achieve a low-cost family planning method in the rural communities in West Africa, where women often give birth to more children than they can cater for. A cheap contraceptive of natural origin could further help to reduce the level of poverty, malnutrition and other social ills in rural communities. The use of Momordica species for purgative purposes should be avoided amongst pregnant women for the treatment of constipation, which is very common during pregnancy. More research into Momordica species could help to develop an effective natural product for constipation and an effective, cheap contraceptive for the African population.

As a result of the use of M. charantia, L. breviflora and some other Cucurbitaceae species for the treatment of viral infections such as chickenpox and measles, it would be worthwhile to investigate the effect of the plants’ extracts and their active compounds such as momordicine and lagenin (and others) against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This could lead to the innovative development of a natural compound that could cure the disease or help to manage its symptoms.


The authors would like to acknowledge the Mangosuthu University of Technology for postdoctoral funding.

Competing interests

The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

Authors’ contributions

This work is originally put together by the authors and no part thereof has been submitted or published elsewhere. All authors agree with the contents of the manuscript and its submission to the journal. O.O.F. conceived the idea and designed the article. O.O.F. and O.O.O. wrote the article while G.D.A., R.C. and K.N. gave guidance and edited the manuscript. No part of the research has been published in any form elsewhere.

Funding information

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Data availability

Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no new data were created or analysed in this study.


The views and opinions expressed in the article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any affiliated agency of the authors.


Abondo, A., Mbenkum, F. & Thomas, D., 1991, Ethnobotany and the medicinal plants of the Korup rainforest project area, Cameroon, Dar Es Salaam University Press, Tanzania.

Adelanwa, E.B., 2014, ‘A study of the medicinal herbs and spices used by the Hausas in Zaria local government area of Kaduna State’, Sci-Afric Journal of Food Science and Dietetics 1, 8–13.

Agbagwa, I.O., Ndukwu, B.C. & Mensah, S.I., 2007, ‘Floral biology, breeding system, and pollination ecology of Cucurbita moschata (Duch. ex Lam) Duch. ex Poir. varieties (Cucurbitaceae) from parts of the Niger Delta, Nigeria’, Turkish Journal of Botany 31(5), 451–458.

Aguwa, C.N. & Mittal, G.C., 1983, ‘Abortifacient effects of the roots of Momordica angustisepala’, Journal of ethnopharmacology 7(2), 169–173.

Agyare, C., Asase, A., Lechtenberg, M., Niehues, M., Deters, A. & Hensel, A., 2009, ‘An ethnopharmacological survey and in vitro confirmation of ethnopharmacological use of medicinal plants used for wound healing in Bosomtwi-Atwima-Kwanwoma area, Ghana’, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 125(3), 393–403. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2009.07.024

Agyare, C., Spiegler, V., Asase, A., Scholz, M., Hempel, G. & Hensel, A., 2018, ‘An ethnopharmacological survey of medicinal plants traditionally used for cancer treatment in the Ashanti region, Ghana’, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 212, 137–152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2017.10.019

Ajibesin, K.K., Bala, D.N. & Umoh, U.F., 2012, ‘Ethno medicinal survey of plants used by the indigenes of Rivers State of Nigeria’, Pharmaceutical Biology 50(9), 1123–1143. https://doi.org/10.3109/13880209.2012.661740

Amah, C.I., Yama, O.E. & Noronha, C.C., 2012, ‘Infecund evaluation of cycling female Sprague–Dawley rats: An aftermath treatment with momordica charantia seed extract’, Middle East Fertility Society Journal 17(1), 37–41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mefs.2011.08.003

Amoateng, P., Quansah, E., Karikari, T.K., Asase, A., Osei-Safo, D., Kukuia, K.K.E. et al. 2018, ‘Medicinal plants used in the treatment of mental and neurological disorders in Ghana’, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2018, 1–4. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/8590381

Appiah, K., Oppong, C., Mardani, H., Omari, R., Kpabitey, S., Amoatey, C. et al. 2018, ‘Medicinal plants used in the Ejisu-Juaben municipality, Southern Ghana: An ethnobotanical study’, Medicines 6(1), 1. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines6010001

Arowosegbe, S., Olanipekun, M. & Kayode, J., 2015, ‘Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus in Ekiti South Senatorial district, Nigeria’, European Journal of Botany, Plant Sciences and Phytology 2(4), 1–8.

Ayensu, E.S., 1978, Medicinal plants of West Africa, vol. 55, Reference Publications, Algonac, MI.

Beloin, N., Gbeassor, M., Akpagana, K., Hudson, J., De Soussa, K., Koumaglo, K. et al. 2005, ‘Ethnomedicinal uses of Momordica charantia (Cucurbitaceae) in Togo and relation to its phytochemistry and biological activity’, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 96(1–2), 49–55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2004.08.009

Bisognin, D.A., 2002, ‘Origin and evolution of cultivated cucurbits’, Ciência Rural 32(5), 715–723.

Boadu, A.A. & Asase, A., 2017, ‘Documentation of herbal medicines used for the treatment and management of human diseases by some communities in Southern Ghana’, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2017(3043061), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/3043061

Bonkian, L., Yerbanga, R., Coulibaly, M.T., Lefèvre, T., Sangaré, I., Ouédraogo, T. et al., 2017, ‘Plants against malaria and mosquitoes in Sahel region of Burkina Faso: An ethno-botanical survey’, International Journal of Herbal Medicine 5(3), 82–87.

Burkill, H.M. & Dalziel, J.M., 1985, The useful plants of west tropical Africa, 2nd edn., vol. 1, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Chan, K., Zhang, H.W. & Lin, Z.X., 2012, ‘Treatments used in complementary and alternative medicine, in J.K. Aaron (ed.), Side effects of drugs annual. vol. 34, pp. 769–83, Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Chukwuma, E.C., Soladoye, M.O. & Feyisola, R.T., 2015, ‘Traditional medicine and the future of medicinal plants in Nigeria’, Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies 3(4), 23–29.

Dali, G.L.A., Pappoe, A.N.M. & Akotoye, H.K., 2019, ‘Plants used as abortifacients and contraceptives in some communities on the fringes of Subri River forest reserve in Ghana’, African Journal of Reproductive Health 23(4), 92–98.

Dansi, A., Pasquini, M.W. & Deleke Kkok, I.K., 2010, ‘Medicinal properties and cultural importance of traditional vegetables in Benin’, in E.G. Achigan-Dako, M.W. Pasquini, F. Assogba-Komlan, S. N’danikou, H. Yédomonhan, A. Dansi, et al. (eds.), Traditional vegetables in Benin, pp 70–76, Institut National des Recherches Agricoles du Bénin, Imprimeries du CENAP, Cotonou.

Deng, Y. & Meixia, Z., 2007, New medical use of cucurbitacin in treating cancer, Europe PMC, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang.

Deng, Y. & She, Z., 2011, Application of cucurbitacins in preparing medicine used for treating acnes, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang.

Dhiman, K., Gupta, A., Sharma, D.K., Gill, N.S. & Goyal, A., 2012, ‘A review on the medicinally important plants of the family Cucurbitaceae’, Asian Journal of Clinical Nutrition 4(1), 16–26. https://doi.org/10.3923/ajcn.2012.16.26

Diallo, D., Sogn, C., Samaké, F.B., Paulsen, B.S., Michaelsen, T.E. & Keita, A., 2002, ‘Wound healing plants in mali, the Bamako Region, an ethnobotanical survey and complement fixation of water extracts from selected plants’, Pharmaceutical Biology 40(2), 117–128. https://doi.org/10.1076/phbi.

Dossou-Yovo, H.O., Kindomihou, V., Vodouhè, F.G. & Sinsin, B., 2021, ‘Assessment of the diversity of medico-magic knowledge on four herbaceous species in Benin’, The Scientific World Journal 2021, 6650704. https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/6650704

Édouard, K.K. & Kouassi, K.C., 2009, ‘Ethnobotanical study of plants used to treat diabetes, in traditional medicine, by Abbey and Krobou people of Agboville (Côte-d’Ivoire)’, American Journal of Scientific Research 4, 45–58.

Egunjobi, J.K., 2004, ‘Cucumeropsis manni’, in G.J.H. Grubben & O.A. Denton (eds.), Plant resources of tropical Africa 2, vegetables, p. 236, PROTA Foundation, Wageningen.

Elujoba, A.A., Olagbende, S.O. & Adesina, S.K., 1985, ‘Anti-implantation activity of the fruit of Lagenaria breviflora Robert’, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 13(3), 281–288. https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-8741(85)90073-X

Eseyin, A.O., Igboasoiyi, CA, Oforah, E., Ching, P. & Okoli, B.C., 2005a, ‘Effects of extracts of Telfairia occidental is leaves on some biochemical parameters in rat’, Global Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences 11(1), 85–87. https://doi.org/10.4314/gjpas.v11i1.16466

Eseyin, O.A., Igboasoiyi, AC., Oforah, E., Nkop, N. & Agboke, A., 2005b, ‘Hypoglycaemic activity of Telfairia occidentalis in rats’, Journal of Pharmacy & Bioresources 2(1), 36–42. https://doi.org/10.4314/jpb.v2i1.32059

Essien, B.A., Essien Jane, B. & Okocha, I.O., 2019, ‘Homestead horticultural crops: Alternative sources to alternative medicines/therapies in Ebonyi State, Southeastern Nigeria’, GSC Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences 9(2), 072–083. https://doi.org/10.30574/gscbps.2019.9.2.0019

Fajinmi, O.O., Olarewaju, O.O., Arthur, G.D., Coopoosamy, R.M. & Naidoo, K., 2022, ‘A review of the relevance of bottle gourd in eastern and southern African traditional music, and social life’, Journal of Medicinal Plants for Economic Development 6(1), a141. https://doi.org/10.4102/jomped.v6i1.141

Fanou, B.A., Klotoe, J.R., Fah, L., Dougnon, V., Koudokpon, C.H., Toko, G. et al. 2020, ‘Ethnobotanical survey on plants used in the treatment of candidiasis in traditional markets of southern Benin’, BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies 20(1), 288. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-020-03080-6

Fred-Jaiyesimi, A., Ajibesin, K.K., Tolulope, O. & Gbemisola, O., 2015, ‘Ethnobotanical studies of folklore phytocosmetics of South West Nigeria’, Pharmaceutical Biology 53(3), 313–318. https://doi.org/10.3109/13880209.2014.918155

Gbekley, H.E., Karou, S.D., Katawa, G., Tchacondo, T., Batawila, K., Ameyapoh, Y. et al. 2017, ‘Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used in the management of hypertension in the Maritime region of Togo’, African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines 15(1), 85–97. https://doi.org/10.21010/ajtcam.v15i1.9

Gbile, Z.O., 1981, ‘Indigenous and adapted African vegetables’, Acta Horticulturae 123, 71–80.

Gbile, Z.O., 1986, ‘Ethnobotany, taxonomy and conservation of medicinal plants’, in A. Sofowora (ed.), The state of medicinal plants research in Nigeria, pp. 13–29, University of Ibadan Press, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Goldfain, D., Lavergne, A., Galian, A., Chauveinc, L. & Prudhomme, F., 1989, ‘Peculiar acute toxic colitis after ingestion of colocynth: A clinicopathological study of three cases’, Gut 30(10), 1412–1418. https://doi.org/10.1136/gut.30.10.1412

Idu, M., Erhabor, J.O. & Efijuemue, H.M., 2010, ‘Documentation on medicinal plants sold in markets in Abeokuta, Nigeria’, Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research 9(2), 110–118. https://doi.org/10.4314/tjpr.v9i2.53696

Inngjerdingen, K., Nergård, C.S., Diallo, D., Mounkoro, P.P. & Paulsen, B.S., 2004, ‘An ethnopharmacological survey of plants used for wound healing in Dogonland, Mali, West Africa’, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 92(2–3), 233–244. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2004.02.021

Jiofack, T., Fokunang, C., Guedje, N. & Kemeuze, V., 2009, ‘Ethnobotany and phytomedicine of the upper Nyong valley forest in Cameroon’, African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 3(4), 144–150.

Jiofack, T., Fokunang, C., Kemeuze, V., Fongnzossie, E., Tsabang, N., Nkuinkeu, R. et al. 2008, ‘Ethnobotany and phytopharmacopoea of the South-West ethnoecological region of Cameroon’, Journal of Medicinal Plants Research 2(8), 197–206.

Karou, S., Bako, M., Bawa, M., Souza, C., De, Tchacondo, T., Agban, A. et al. 2012, ‘Medicinal plants use in central Togo (Africa) with an emphasis on the timing’, Pharmacognosy Research 4(2), 92–103. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-8490.94724

Kayode, A.A.A., Lawal, B.A. & Abdullahi, M.A., 2019, ‘Medicinal plants used in the treatment of gastric ulcer in Southwestern and North central Nigeria’, Research Journal of Medicinal Plants 13(4), 119–128. https://doi.org/10.3923/rjmp.2019.119.128

Khan, S.A., Shelleh, H.H., Bhat, A.R. & Bhat, K.S., 2003, ‘Colocynth toxicity: A possible cause of bloody diarrhea’, Saudi Medical Journal 24(8), 904–906.

Kirkbride, J.H., 1993, Biosystematic monograph of the genus Cucumis (Cucurbitaceae): Botanical identification of cucumbers and melons, Parkway Publishers, Inc., Boone, NC.

Koffi, N., Henri, K. & Ouattara, D., 2010, ‘Plants used to treat anaemia, in traditional medicine, by Abbey and Krobou populations, in the South of Côte-d’Ivoire’, Journal of Applied Sciences Research 6(8), 1291–1297.

Lagnika, L., Adjileye, R.A.A., Yedomonhan, H., Amadou, B.S.K. & Sanni, A., 2016, ‘Ethnobotanical survey on antihypertensive medicinal plants in municipality of Ouémé, Southern Benin’, Advanced Herbal Medicine 2(3), 20–32.

Lee, D.H., Iwanski, G.B. & Thoennissen, N.H., 2010, ‘Cucurbitacin: Ancient compound shedding new light on cancer treatment’, The Scientific World Journal 10, 413–418. https://doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2010.44

Madingou, N.K., Souza, A., Lamidi, M., Mengome, L.E., Mba, C.E.M., Bayissi, B. et al., 2012, ‘Study of medicinal plants used in the management of cardiovascular diseases at Libreville (Gabon): An ethnopharmacological approach’, International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research 3(1), 111.

Malan, D.F., Neuba, D.F. & Kouakou, K.L., 2015, ‘Medicinal plants and traditional healing practices in ehotile people, around the aby lagoon (eastern littoral of Côte d’Ivoire)’, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 11(1), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13002-015-0004-8

Nadembega, P., Boussim, J.I., Nikiema, J.B., Poli, F. & Antognoni, F., 2011, ‘Medicinal plants in Baskoure, Kourittenga Province, Burkina Faso: An ethnobotanical study’, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 133(2), 378–395. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2010.10.010

Nadkarni, N., D’Cruz, S. & Sachdev, A., 2010, ‘Hematemesis due to bitter melon (Momordica charantia) extract-induced gastric ulcerations’, Indian Journal of Gastroenterology 29, 43–44. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12664-010-0009-0

Ndanikou, S., Assogba, T., Avohou, E. & Achigan-Dako, E., 2010, ‘Selected species of traditional vegetable of Benin by family’, in E.G. Achigan-Dako, M.W. Pasquini, F. Assogba-Komlan, S. N’danikou, H. Yédomonhan, A. Dansi, et al. (eds.), Traditional vegetables in Benin, pp. 93–197, Institut National des Recherches Agricoles du Bénin, Imprimeries du CENAP, Cotonou.

Neba, N.E., 2006, ‘Degradation of useful plants in Oku tropical montane cloud forest, Cameroon’, The International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management 2(2), 73–86. https://doi.org/10.1080/17451590609618100

Neuwinger, H.D., 1996, African ethnobotany: Poisons and drugs: Chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, Champman and Hall, London.

Njoroge, G.N. & Newton, L.E., 1994, ‘Edible and poisonous species of Cucurbitaceae in the central highlands of Kenya’, Journal of East African Natural History 83(2), 101–115. https://doi.org/10.2982/0012-8317(1994)83%5b101:EAPSOC%5d2.0.CO;2

Noumi, E. & Djeumen, C., 2007, ‘Abortifacient plants of the Buea region, their participation in the sexuality of adolescent girls’, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge 6(3), 502–507.

Nworgu, F.C., Oladipo, T.A., Nwufoh, O.C., Adeoye, Y.D., Adebayo, M.D. & Ajayi, J.O., 2018, ‘Effect of fermented lagenaria (adenopus breviflorus) fruit extract on the heamatological and serum biochemical indices of broiler chickens’, Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare 8(22), 11–18.

Odoh, U.E., Uzor, P.F., Eze, C.L., Akunne, T.C., Onyegbulam, C.M. & Osadebe, P.O., 2018, ‘Medicinal plants used by the people of Nsukka local Government area, south-eastern Nigeria for the treatment of malaria: An ethnobotanical survey’, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 218, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2018.02.034

Offiah, N.V., Makama, S., Elisha, I.L., Makoshi, M.S., Gotep, J.G., Dawurung, C.J. et al. 2011, ‘Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used in the treatment of animal diarrhoea in Plateau State, Nigeria’, BMC Veterinary Research 7(1), 36. https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-6148-7-36

Ogunlakina, A.D. & Sonibare, M.A., 2019, ‘Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used as remedy for female infertility and menstrual disorder in southwestern Nigeria’, Nigerian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research 15(2), 205–217. https://doi.org/10.4314/njpr.v15i2.8

Ogwu, M.C., Osawaru, M. & Obahiagbon, G.E., 2017, ‘Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used for traditional reproductive care by Usen people of Edo State, Nigeria’, Malaya Journal of Biosciences 4(1), 17–29.

Okeke, E., Ene-Obong, H., Uzuegbunam, A., Ozioko, A., Umeh, S. & Chukwuone, N., 2009, ‘The igbo traditional food system documented in four states in southern Nigeria’, Indigenous People Food Systems, pp 251–281, FAO, Rome.

Okoli, B.E., 1984, ‘Wild and cultivated cucurbits in Nigeria’, Economic Botany 38(3), 350–357. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02859015

Oladunmoye, M.K. & Kehinde, F.Y., 2011, ‘Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used in treating viral infections among Yoruba tribe of South Western Nigeria’, African Journal of Microbiology Research 5(19), 2991–3004. https://doi.org/10.5897/AJMR10.004

Olarewaju, O.O., Fajinmi, O.O., Arthur, G.D., Coopoosamy, R.M. & Naidoo, K.K., 2021, ‘Food and medicinal relevance of Cucurbitaceae species in Eastern and Southern Africa’, Bulletin of the National Research Centre 45(1), 208. https://doi.org/10.1186/s42269-021-00659-y

Oridupa, O. & Saba, A., 2013, ‘Relaxant effect of lagenaria breviflora roberty fruit pulp and seeds on isolated rabbit ileum’, Sokoto Journal of Veterinary Sciences 11(2), 21–27. https://doi.org/10.4314/sokjvs.v11i2.4

Oridupa, O.A., 2011, ‘Preliminary report on the antiviral activity of the ethanolic fruit extract of lagenaria breviflora roberts on newcastle disease virus’, Tropical Veterinarian 29(1), 12–12.

Ouachinou, J.M.-A.S., Dassou, G.H., Idohou, R., Adomou, A.C. & Yédomonhan, H., 2019, ‘National inventory and usage of plant-based medicine to treat gastrointestinal disorders with cattle in Benin (West Africa)’, South African Journal of Botany 122, 432–446. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sajb.2019.03.037

Pare, D., Hilou, A., Ouedraogo, N. & Guenne, S., 2016, ‘Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used as anti-obesity remedies in the nomad and hunter communities of Burkina Faso’, Medicines 3(2), 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines3020009

Quiroz, D., Towns, A., Legba, S.I., Swier, J., Brière, S., Sosef, M. et al. 2014, ‘Quantifying the domestic market in herbal medicine in Benin, West Africa’, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 151(3), 1100–1108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2013.12.019

Rymal, K.S., Chambliss, O.L., Bond, M.D. & Smith, D.A., 1984, ‘Squash containing toxic cucurbitacin compounds occurring in California and Alabama’, Journal of Food Protection 47(4), 270–271. https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X-47.4.270

Schaffer, A.A. & Paris, H.S., 2003, ‘Melons, squashes and gourds’, in B. Caballero, P. Finglas & F. Toldra (eds.), Encyclopedia of food sciences and nutrition, 3rd edn., pp. 3817–3827, Academic Press, Cambridge, MA.

Sharma, S.K., Puri, R., Jain, A., Sharma, M.P., Sharma, A., Bohra, S. et al., 2012, ‘Assessment of effects on health due to consumption of bitter bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) juice’, The Indian Journal of Medical Research 135(1), 49.

Soladoye, M.O., 1985, A checklist of Nigeria cucurbits (family Cucurbitaceae), Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan.

Sonibare, M.A., Moody, J.O. & Adesanya, E.O., 2009, ‘Use of medicinal plants for the treatment of measles in Nigeria’, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 122(2), 268–272. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2009.01.004

Souda, S., George, S., Mannathoko, N., Goercke, I. & Chabaesele, K., 2018, ‘Antioxidant and antibacterial activity of methanol extract of momordica balsamina’, IRA-International Journal of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2455–4499) 10(2), 7–17. https://doi.org/10.21013/jas.v10.n2.p1

Tibiri, A., Boria, S., Traoré, T.K., Ouédraogo, N., Nikièma, A., Ganaba, S. et al. 2020, ‘Countrywide survey of plants used for liver disease management by traditional healers in Burkina Faso’, Frontiers in Pharmacology 11, 563751. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.563751

Tsobou, R., Mapongmetsem, P.M. & Damme, P. Van, 2013, ‘Medicinal plants used against typhoid fever in Bamboutos division, western Cameroon’, Ethnobotany Research and Applications 11, 163–174.

Verdcourt, B. & Trump, E.C., 1969, Common poisonous plants of East Africa, Collins, London.

Watt, J.M. & Breyer-Brandwijk, M.G., 1962, The medicinal and poisonous plants of Southern and Eastern Africa being an account of their medicinal and other uses, chemical composition, pharmacological effects and toxicology in man and animal, 2nd edn., E. & S. Livingstone, London.

Wickens, G.E. & Burkill, H.M., 1986, The useful plants of west tropical Africa, 2nd edn., vol. 41, Royal Botanic Gardens, London.

Yemele, M.D., Telefo, P.B., Lienou, L.L., Tagne, S.R., Fodouop, C.S.P. et al. 2015, ‘Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used for pregnant women’s health conditions in Menoua division-West Cameroon’, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 160, 14–31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2014.11.017

Yetein, M.H., Houessou, L.G., Lougbégnon, T.O., Teka, O. & Tente, B., 2013, ‘Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used for the treatment of malaria in plateau of Allada, Benin (West Africa)’, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 146(1), 154–163. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2012.12.022

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.