Voacanga africana: Chemistry, quality and pharmacological activity

Adolfina R. Koroch, H. Rodolfo Juliani, Daniel Kulakowski, Hanson Arthur, Juliana Asante-Dartey, James E. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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This review examines the natural products in Voacanga africana, a small tree, whose seeds are the most economically important plant part though in traditional medicines the bark and root are also widely used. Voacanga is used to treat or cure a wide range of diseases in Africa. This paper also discusses the botany, chemistry and pharmacological properties and presents current and potential applications of this species. The alkaloids are the principal bioactive compounds responsible for its use in traditional medicine. The major alkaloids include voacamine, voacangine, vobasine, and ibogaime. Others include voacristine, voacamidine, voacarine, voaphylline, vobtusine, voalfolidine and tabersonine. With over 1,600 tons of seeds exported annually from Ghana and Cote D'Ivoire, voacanga is an important source of additional income for harvesters and exporters in West Africa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-380
Number of pages18
JournalACS Symposium Series
StatePublished - Dec 20 2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

Cite this

Koroch, A. R., Juliani, H. R., Kulakowski, D., Arthur, H., Asante-Dartey, J., & Simon, J. E. (2009). Voacanga africana: Chemistry, quality and pharmacological activity. ACS Symposium Series, 1021, 363-380. https://doi.org/10.1021/bk-2009-1021.ch020