Abstract: Lannea microcarpa is an important food plant and herbal medicine in West Africa. The present study critically reviewed the medicinal uses, phytochemistry and pharmacological properties of L. microcarpa. The keywords including L. microcarpa, its synonyms, English common names, medicinal uses, phytochemistry and pharmacological properties were searched using electronic databases such as ISI web of knowledge, ProQuest, science direct, OATD, scopus, Open-thesis, pubmed and google scholar. The search for pre-electronic literature such as conference papers, scientific articles, books, book chapters, dissertations and theses were carried out at the University library. Literature studies revealed that L. microcarpa is used as herbal medicine in 58.3% of the countries where the species is indigenous. The major diseases treated by L. microcarpa extracts include fever and malaria, gastro-intestinal problems, ulcers and wounds, respiratory problems, pain and musculoskeletal disorder, haemorrhoids, intestinal worms and skin diseases and used as ethnoveterinary medicine. Phytochemical compounds identified from the species include amino acids, anthocyanins, fatty acids, flavonoids, myricetin glycosides, phenolic compounds and triglycerides. Pharmacological studies revealed that L. microcarpa extracts have antibacterial, antifungal, antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiprotozoal and antitrypanosomal, inhibition of α-amylase, shea butter stabilization and trypsin inhibition activities. Detailed studies are required aimed at establishing the efficacy, clinical relevance, safety and mechanisms of action of the plant extracts and its compounds.
Keywords: Anacardiaceae, ethnopharmacology, herbal medicine, Lannea microcarpa, West Africa.