Schizozygia coffaeoides is a shrub or a small tree; it usually grows up to 4 metres tall, though specimens up to 8 metres are known. All parts of the plant contain a white latex[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. Research has shown the presence of interesting antifungal and antibacterial compounds in the plant, and work is progressing on purifying them for pharmaceuticl use[
The fruits are reported to be poisonous[
Tropical Africa - Somalia, DR Congo, Kenya, Tanzania,Malawi, Angola, Comoros.
Moist forest and riverine forest, growing on sandy or loamy soils; at elevations up to 1,500 metres[
Found in the wild on sandy or loamy soils[
The plant can be found flowering and fruiting throughout the year[
A root infusion is taken against dizziness[
The pounded or grated root, mixed with coconut oil, is applied to sores[
Inflamed eyes are treated by exposing them to steam from boiled leaves[
]. A decoction of the leaves is used as a wash on ringworm-infected skin[
Five schizozyganes have been isolated from the root bark and leaves; these are hexacyclic N-acyl indole alkaloids, with schizozygine and isoschizogaline as main compounds. Schizozyganes have so far not been found elsewhere in the Apocynaceae, but they are related to certain alkaloids which occur in Hunteria and Aspidosperma[
Leaf extracts show significant fungistatic activity against the dermatophytic fungi Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Microsporum gypseum, and also against Candida albicans and a phytopathogenic fungus, Cladosporium cucumerinum, indicating a broad spectrum of antifungal activity[
In further tests with fungi and bacteria, it was shown that 7,8-dehydro-19β -hydroxyschizozygine was the most active antifungal compound, and isoschizogaline the only active antibacterial compound[
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