Bersama andongensis Hiern
Bersama angolensis Baker f.
Bersama bolamensis Brehmer
Bersama chippii Sprague & Hutch.
Bersama chloroleuca Brehmer
Bersama coriacea Baker f.
Bersama deiningeri Brehmer
Bersama deneckeana Brehmer
Bersama engleriana Gürke
Bersama erythrocarpa Brehmer
Bersama faucicola Gilg & Brehmer
Bersama gallensis Brehmer
Bersama goetzei Gürke
Bersama gossweileri Baker f.
Bersama gracilipes Mildbr.
Bersama hebecalyx Gilg & Brehmer
Bersama holstii Gürke
Bersama integrifolia A.Rich.
Bersama jaegeri Gilg & Brehmer
Bersama kandtii Gilg & Brehmer
Bersama kiwuensis Gürke
Bersama leiostegia Stapf
Bersama leucotricha Brehmer
Bersama lobulata Sprague & Hutch.
Bersama maschonensis Gürke
Bersama myriantha Gilg & Brehmer
Bersama ninagongensis Gürke
Bersama nyassae Baker f.
Bersama pachyneura Gilg & Brehmer
Bersama pachythyrsa Brehmer
Bersama pallidinervia Brehmer
Bersama paullinioides (Planch.) Baker
Bersama preussii Baker f.
Bersama rosea Hoyle
Bersama schreberifolia Brehmer
Bersama schweinfurthii Brehmer
Bersama serrata A.Rich.
Bersama subalata Hutch. & Dalziel
Bersama suffruticosa Brehmer
Bersama tessmannii Brehmer
Bersama ugandensis Sprague
Bersama usambarica Gürke
Bersama ussanguensis Brehmer
Bersama volkensii Gürke
Bersama xanthotricha Gilg & Brehmer
Bersama zombensis Dunkley
Natalia paullinioides Planch.
Bersama abyssinica is an evergreen shrub or tree usually growing up to 12 metres tall but exceptionally to 25 metres[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials. It is also grown as a hedge and as an ornamental[
All parts of the plant are poisonous and have been implicated in killing humans and livestock[
Tropical Africa - Senegal to southern Sudan and Ethiopia, south to Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Lowland bush savannah, gallery forests and montane forests, at elevations from sea-level up to 2,700 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Trees respond well to coppicing and pollarding[
A very variable species, with a wide range of synonyms[
Although all parts of the plant are poisonous, they are often used in traditional medicine throughout the plant's range. For internal use, therefore the dosage is critical[
The stem bark contains 2 bufadienolides, which are cardiac glycosides with anti-tumour activity, as well as sterols and the xanthone mangiferin[
Two hellebrigenin derivatives identified in an ethanol extract of the bark have shown inhibitory activity against human carcinoma of the nasopharynx in cell cultures[
Cardiac glycosides and unsaturated sterols were identified in stem bark and root bark[
Leaf extracts have cardiogenic, spasmolytic and hypoglycaemic activities[
Crude bark extracts slow down the growth of Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella flexineri and Shigella dysenteria, whilst a root bark extract slows down that of Bacillus subtilis[
A methanolic leaf extract had an inhibitory effect on HIV-1 replication[
From the roots the bufadienolide abyssinin (an insect antifeedant against Helicoverpa zea), 3 other bufadienolides, bersenogenin, berscillogenin, and 3-epiberscillogenin, all with in-vitro cytotoxicity, and glucuronide triterpene saponins have been isolated[
Methanol fractions of the leaves showed significant free radical scavenging capacity. Phytochemical investigation resulted in the isolation of five flavonol glycosides and the xanthone mangiferin. The last compound also has cytoprotective properties[
Bark, leaf and root decoctions are widely taken as a purgative to treat a range of stomach disorders, such as abdominal pain, colic, diarrhoea, cholera, intestinal worms, amoebiasis and dysentery. Rabies, syphilis, gonorrhoea and malaria are also treated with these decoctions[
]. The stem bark and leaves are used to treat diabetes mellitus[
A root bark infusion is drunk, stem bark powder is sniffed, leaf sap is applied as eye drops or leaf powder is sniffed to treat migraine, headache and colds[
A stem bark decoction is drunk to cure cancer and rheumatism. As an aphrodisiac, the powdered bark is added to beer or the leaves are chewed.
A bark poultice is applied to the back in the treatment of lumbago[
A leaf decoction is drunk in the treatment of lumbago[
]. Leaf decoctions are also taken to treat feverish pains, loss of appetite, debility, jaundice and leprosy[
To treat convulsions and snakebites, leaves are pounded and mixed with water, and the mixture is drunk and applied the body[
Extracts of growing shoots are used for external treatment of burns, ulcers and to clean wounds[
A root decoction is used to treat haemorrhoids and epilepsy[
A root decoction is used as a wash to cure lumbago[
Branches are used in living fences[
The plant behaves as a pioneer species and is considered a weed in forest plantations[
]. This makes it of possible use as a pioneer species when planting woodland[
Shoots and leaves are pounded and used to control stalk borers in maize[
Seeds are used as a substitute for soap[
The wood is white to brownish grey without differentiation between sapwood and heartwood; the texture is moderately coarse. The wood is hard and works easily. It is used for poles in house building[
The wood is used for fuel and for making charcoal[
Seed - remains viable for around 2 months after being removed from the tree[