Picralima nitida

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Picralima nitida
Picralima Nitida - 05.jpg

Picralima nitida

Order : Enzianartige (Gentianales)
Family : Dog poison family (Apocynaceae)
Subfamily : Rauvolfioideae
Tribe : Hunterieae
Genre : Picralima
Type : Picralima nitida
Scientific name of the  genus
Pierre, 1896
Scientific name of the  species
Picralima nitida
( Stapf ) T.Durand & H.Durand

Picralima nitida is the only plant species of the monotypic genus Picralima within the family of the dog venom plants (Apocynaceae). It is mainly native to West Africa and is called "Akuamma" there.


Young inflorescence

Picralima nitida grows as a medium-sized tree or shrub with heights of up to 35 meters. The trunk diameter can reach up to 60 centimeters. The crown is leafy. The tree has a milky sap .

The simple, slightly leathery leaves are opposite and have short stalks. They are elliptical to ovate, ovate lanceolate and up to 26 centimeters long and acuminate to tailed. The leaf margins are whole and wavy.

The many-flowered and stalked zymous inflorescences are terminal or axillary. There are cover sheets . The hermaphrodite flowers are five-fold and white-yellow with a double flower envelope . The flowers are short-stalked and salver-shaped. The five sepals have inside and below small appendages ( colleters , glandular villi). The corolla tube is hairy on the inside and often greenish on the outside. The stamens with very short stamens and arrow-shaped anthers are located inside, on top of the krohn tube. The two-chamber ovary with many ovules , is constantly above, with a long stylus having a top stigmoide thickening in which the scar is (Clavuncula, secondary pollen presentation). The ovary stands on a small fleshy thickening ( discus ).

The split fruit consists of two sub-fruits (merikarp) which correspond to follicles . As partial fruits, ellipsoidal to ovate, smooth and up to 15-20 centimeters large, orange, more or less brownish speckled follicles are formed. They contain many, up to 80 to 4.5 centimeters large and flat, orange-light brown, smooth seeds. The seeds lie in a soft, whitish-orange pulp. The thousand grain mass is 2500–3300 grams.

The number of chromosomes is 2n = 22.


The Basionym Tabernaemontana nitida was published in 1894 by Otto Stapf in Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1:22. The reallocation and renaming to Picralima nitida was made in 1909 in Sylloge Florae Congolanae 338 by Théophile Alexis Durand and Hélène Durand. Other synonyms are Picralima macrocarpa A. Chev. and Picralima klaineana Pierre .


In tropical Africa there are localities in Cameroon , Congo , Gabon , Ivory Coast , Ghana , Nigeria and as far as Uganda .


Primary metabolites

The seeds of Picralima nitida contain 10% protein , 74% carbohydrates , 5% fats and 5.5% fiber . The water content is only 3.7%. The remaining ingredients are mineral components, such as salts or minerals , which are quantified as an ignition residue to 0.88%. That is why the seed is very popular as a food in Africa. An oil can be pressed from the seeds .

Secondary metabolites

A large number of secondary metabolites are present in Picralima nitida , particularly alkaloids of the indole class .

But tannins , flavonoids , saponins , anthocyanins and mucilage also occur. Plant extracts could antimicrobial and larvicidal properties are proven.


Picralima nitida is used against a number of different diseases. For example, it is used for fever , high blood pressure , jaundice , gonorrhea , diarrhea , malaria , intestinal worms , sleeping sickness or pain . For this purpose, not only the seeds, but also the bark, roots or fruits are processed into medicinal products.

Folk medicinal use

Picralima nitida provides a basis for many traditional remedies, which are used, for example, by boiling roots and bark against stomach problems and to lower fever. The seeds are used for pain relief and malaria therapy . Picralima nitida still has its place in folk medicine today . In Ghana, even herbal medicines made from the dried and powdered seeds are commercially available in the form of capsules. It is officially available as an analgesic in capsules of 25 mg under the name "Picap" .

Use as a pain reliever

The analgesic effect of Picralima nitida can be attributed to the alkaloids it contains.

The unripe fruits are used as fish poison . The seeds, roots and fruit pulp are used as arrow poison .

The wood is pale yellow and hard, but quite elastic.


It was first described in 1894 under the name ( Basionym ) Tabernaemontana nitida by Otto Stapf in Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information Kew 1894, 1, p. 22. The new combination to Picralima nitida was made in 1910 by Théophile Alexis Durand and Hélène Durand in Bulletin du Jardin Botanique de l 'État à Bruxelles Volume 2, p. 338 published. Other synonyms for Picralima nitida (Stapf) T.Durand & H.Durand are Picralima klaineana Pierre , Picralima macrocarpa A.Chev.


  • GH Schmelzer, A. Gurib-Fakim: Plant resources of tropical Africa. 11 (1): Medicinal Plants 1 , PROTA, 2008, ISBN 978-90-5782-204-9 , pp. 448-452.
  • Elizabeth Omino et al .: Flora of Tropical East Africa. Apocynaceae. Part 1, Balkema, 2002, ISBN 90-5809-409-X , p. 34 ff.

Web links

Commons : Picralima nitida  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Osayemwenre Erharuyi et al .: Medical uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Picralima nitida (Apocynaceae) in tropical deseases: A review. In: Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. Vol. 7, No. 1, January 2014, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.1016 / S1995-7645 (13) 60182-0 .
  2. a b Picralima nitida in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  3. a b c J. Menzies, S. Paterson, M. Duwiejua, A. Corbett: Opioid activity of Alkaloids extracted from Picralima nitida. In: European Journal of Pharmacology . Vol. 350, 1998, pp. 101-108.
  4. ST Lacmata, V. Kuete, JP Dzoyem, SB Tankeo, GN Teke, JR Kuiate: Antibacterial Activities of Selected Cameroonian Plants and Their Synergistic Effects with Antibiotics against Bacteria Expressing MDR Phenotypes. In: Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. doi: 10.1155 / 2012/623723 .
  5. CK Nkere, CU Iroegbu. Antibacterial screening of the root, seed and stembark extracts of Picralima nitida. In: African Journal of Biotechnology. Vol. 4, 2005, pp. 522-526.
  6. NA Obasi, UC Okorie, BN Enemchukwu, SS Ogundapo, G. Otuchristian: Nutritional Evaluation, Phytochemical screening and Antimicrobial Effects of Aequeous Extract of Picrolima nitida Peel. In: Asian Journal of Biological Sciences. Vol. 5, 2012, pp. 105-112.
  7. PME Ubulom, NG Imandeh, CE Udobi, I. Ilya: Larvicidal and Antifungal Properties of Picralima nitida (Apocynaceae) Leaf Extracts. In: European Journal of Medicinal Plants. Vol. 2, No. 2, 2012, pp. 132-139.
  8. J. Kouam, LBK Mabeku, JR Kuiate, AT Tiabou, ZT Formum: Antimicrobial Glycosides and Derivatives from Roots of Picralima nitida. In: International Journal of Chemistry. Vol. 3, No. 2, 2011, pp. 23-31.
  9. ^ Yemisi A. Adebowale, Adewale Adewuyi, Kayode O. Adebowale: Lipid composition and molecular speciation of the triacylglycerol of the oil of Picralima Nitida. In: Journal of food GIDA. Vol. 37, No. 1, 2012, pp. 1-7. online (PDF), from Gıda Teknolojisi Derneği.
  10. Picralima nitida at Tropicos.org. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, accessed June 15, 2013.