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Keywords:

  • traditional herbal medicines;
  • ‘African potato’ extracts;
  • plant-medicine;
  • pharmaco-chemical profiles;
  • therapeutic attributes

Abstract

The traditional uses, therapeutic attributes, phytochemical and pharmacological profiles of ‘African potato’ (Hypoxis hemerocallidea corm) extracts have been reviewed. Available biomedical evidence suggests that ‘African potato’ is a potential plant-medicine for some modern and 21st century diseases of mankind. Thus far, biomedical evidence has revealed that ‘African potato’ extracts possess antiinflammatory, antineoplastic, antioxidant, antidiabetic and antiinfective properties in vivo and in vitro. However, more laboratory and clinical studies are required to clarify these observations, and to isolate, purify and characterize the active chemical constituents responsible for the herb's pharmaco-therapeutic effects. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.