Warburgia ugandensis Sprague (Family Canellacea) commonly known as Ugandan greenheart or pepper bark tree, is a highly valued medicinal plant in traditional medicine with a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity whose parts especially the leaves and stem bark have for long been used in the treatment and management of many diseases and health conditions such as stomachache, cough, toothache, fever, malaria, oral thrush, measles and diarrhea in African communities where the plant occurs. This review focused on the phytochemical contents, medicinal uses and antimicrobial activities of W. ugandensis based on published peer reviewed articles. This review established that the high therapeutic value of W. ugandensis is attributed to the abundance of drimane sesquiterpenes in its stem bark and leaves. These chemicals have also made the plant to have potent antibacterial and antifungal activities. However, more pre-clinical and clinical trials need to be done to further validate the traditional medicine applications of W. ugandensis for possible drug discovery. Due to its high demand, W. ugandensis has been over exploited and hence its population is in drastic decline. Consequently, there is need for development of advanced and more rapid propagation techniques to increase its population and distribution in its natural environment to meet the ever-increasing demand.
Key words: Antimicrobial, Canellaceae, medicinal uses, phytochemicals, Warburgia ugandensis.
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