Seed extracts are used by French and German pharmaceutical manufacturers in medicines for geriatric use, for treatment of heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. There has been a steady trade in seeds since the 1980s, with several hundred tonnes of seeds exported to these customers from CÃ´te dâ€™Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, DR Congo and Congo.
The fruit is considered edible and a root decoction is drunk three times daily to treat post-partum pains and hernia. The wood has its uses too: for arrows and sheaths, musical instruments and its fibres are strong enough to make rope.
A traditional African use of the voacanga seeds is to produce visions – when ingested, voacanga africana causes a mild to strong stimulation lasting several hours, and higher doses are said to have a strong hallucinogenic effect. The root bark is used as a hunting drug and stimulant. Itâ€™s also reported to be a potent aphrodisiac.
also known as small-fruit wild frangipani and cata grande
There are numerous medicinal uses for different parts of the Voacanga africana plant. The latex or infusions of the stem bark, leaves or roots are put on wounds, boils and sores, and used to treat gonorrhoea, eczema, fungal infections and scabies. They are also taken to treat heart problems, hypertension and rheumatic afflictions. The latex is put in teeth to treat caries or dripped in the eye to cure ophthalmia; it’s also combined with rubber and made into balls and other toys for children. In Senegal a leaf decoction is drunk as a tonic and against fatigue, and in CÃ´te dâ€™Ivoire it is applied as a wash against diarrhoea.