The genus Caesalpinia has been undergoing considerable revision, and proposals have been made to split it into several smaller genera. These proposals have already been accepted by some botanists, but have not universally been accepted as yet(2012). If the proposals are accepted, then this species will become Mezoneuron benthamianum Baill.[
Mezoneuron benthamianum Baill.
Caesalpinia benthamiana is a climbing or straggling shrub with stems up to 20 metres long and up to 8cm in diameter. The stems are armed with recurved spines[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use, mainly medicinal, but also as a source of water. It is sometimes planted into hedges to make them impenetrable.
West tropical Africa - Senegal to Gabon.
Humid and ruderal localities in dry deciduous woodland and savannah, but is especially common in gallery forest and on roadsides[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
When cut the stems yield drinking water[
The leaves are chewed as a masticatory[
An infusion of the dried roots is drunk or used as a bath against general malaise[
]. A root decoction is drunk to cure dysentery[
]. The roots are added to palm wine to increase the strength or its aphrodisiac properties[
The stems and roots are used for dental hygiene, to sooth toothache and as an aphrodisiac[
A decoction of roots, bark and leaves is used to cure urethral discharge[
The leaves are depurative and mildly laxative. They are used to cure colic[
]. The young leaves are eaten as a treatment for hookworm or Guinea worm, and a macerate of leafy twigs is given to people suffering from impotence related to venereal diseases[
The leaves are applied externally as a paste to treat snakebites. Wounds, skin infections, piles and ulcers are treated with a watery macerate of leafy twigs, mashed-up leaves or leaf ash299].
The stem liquid is dropped in the eye to cure inflammation and cataract[
Gallic acid and gallate derivatives have been isolated from the leaves. Gallic acid and its methyl ester (methylgallate) inhibit the growth of both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, but the other gallate derivatives only suppress Gram-positive bacteria[
Petroleum spirit, chloroform and ethanol extracts of the roots showed antimicrobial activity on a range of organisms[299[.
The petroleum spirit and chloroform extracts display strong free radical scavenging activity[
The plant has vicious, recurved thorns and so is grown in hedges in order to make them impenetrable[
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