Bridelia is botanically known as Bridelia ferruginea Benth. of the family Euphorbiaceae. It has some synonyms as Bridelia cathartica, Bridelia grandis, Bridelia micrantha etc. the common name is bridelia.

Ghana Twi Opam fufuo, Baree, Badee
Ga Adamgbe Opam fufuo
Hausa Kisni/Kizni
Cote dIvoire Manding Maninka Saba / Sagba
Senufo Dyimini – Nakurugo
Benin Baatonun Bemebenku
Gbe Fo Honsukokué
Yoruba Nago Hira
Guinea Fula Pulaar Dafi
Manding Maninka Babon
Maninka Sagba
Mali Bambara Saguan
Noms Daafi
Senoufo Gnirin-o-tigue
Nigeria Yoruba ira odan
Ibo oha
Hausa kisni/ kizni
Sierra leone Susu Tholinyi
Kissi Sindio
Hono – Bembeh
Togo Ewe Akamati
Bassar N’tchintchi
Lamba Kolu


Description of the plant

It is a small non-laticiferous, scaly tree or shrub that grows to about 4-15 m tall and up to 1.5 m in girth. It  branching is low and often bears spines. The slashed back is usually crimson coloured.

The leaves may be small to medium-sized, simple and is petiolate with stipules. The leaf shape is oval-lanceolate, which is covered with densely matted woolly hairs and deciduous. It alternate or sometimes sub-alternately persisten spiral with the lamina broadly elliptic, with entire margin and an acuminate or acute apex. The leaves are pinnately veined; veins beneath form a dense and prominent network, sometimes sparsely hairy and occasionally with the hairs obscuring the undersurface of the leaf.

Flower; many flowered in glomerules (a head or very dense clusters) and occurs at the axillary. Male flowers are yellowish-green, pedicelate, pedicel, 1.5-2 mm long whiles female flowers are subsessile with 3 short, 2–pronged styles in February to August, 0.6 cm across, the greenish yellow sepals have very small and narrow petals. Each flower cluster, usually consists of male and female. It has good fragrance.

The fruits are drupe-shaped, unilocular, oblong or sometimes subglobulose with green pericarp; red then black-blue at maturity. Fruits appear in July and October, sometimes obovoid, 0.8 cm long, more usually ellipsoid, 0.6 cm long, very persistent on the branches.

Stem-bark is dark gray cracked, rough and often markedly scaly. Stem slash is thin and red or crimson. The branches are long, sometimes thorny, thin and sometimes equipped with short, sharp spines. The branchlets are rusty and pubescent. The twigs are usually covered with short, often rust-coloured hairs.


Bridelia is used traditionally for the treatment /management of bacterial infections, diabetes, arthritis, bruises, boils, dislocation; burns, paediatric illnesses (especially malaria fever), dysentery, thrush (mycotic stomatitis) in children, antidote for snake bites, gonorrhea, helminthiasis, malaria, trypanosomes and inflammations sexually transmitted diseases.

The leaves may be specifically used for the management of diabetes mellitus and hypertension. The stem bark is used for the treatment of arthritis whiles the bark in general is used for glossitis. The bark and root bark are used together for diarrhea and oliguria.

Chemical constituents

Flavonoids (bridelilactone and bridelilactoside, apigenin and kaempferol, gallocatechin-(4-O-7-epigallocatechin), quercetin-3,3-methylether, 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid, quercetin 3,7,3,4-tetramethylether, myricetin and quercetin 3-O-glucoside); triterpenes, steroids, tannins, saponins (de-Bruyne et al., 1998). Triterpenoids, lignans (Rashid et al., 2000); flavonoids (quercetin, quercetrin, rutin, myricitrin, myricetin-3-O-β-glucoside, ferrugin); biflavanol (gallocatechin-[4-O-7]-epigallocatechin) (Cimanga etal., 2001, Addae-Mensah and Achenbach, 1985); phenols and tannins (Irobi et al.,1994; GHP, 1992; Oliver-Bever, 1960).


Therapeutic actions include antidiabetic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antipyretic and analgesic, antifungal, antihypertensive, anthelmintic, diuretic, anti-tumour and antiviral.


Therapeutic indication include:

  • Diabetes mellitus,
  • Arthritis,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Gastrointestinal and urogenital disorders (e.g. syphilis).
  • Glossitis,
  • Headaches,
  • Gout,
  • Oliguria,
  • Oral thrush (mouth wash),
  • Helminthiasis
  • and rheumatic pains

Caution should be taken in the administration of the aqueous extract in patients with compromised liver and renal function.

Adverse effects
None known

Contact us for your Bridelia powder or Immune Booster containing Bridelia


Mshana, N. R., Abbiw, D. K., Addae-Mensah, I., Adjanohoun, E., Ahyi, M. R. A., Ekpere, J. A., … & Odunlami, H. (2000). Traditional medicine and pharmacopoeia. Contribution to the revision of ethnobotanical and floristic studies in Ghana. Organization of African Unity/Scientific, Technical & Research Commision, Accra.

Addae-Mensah, I., Munenge, R.W. (1989). Quercetin-3-neohesperidose (rutin) and other

flavonoids as the active hypoglycaemic agents in Bridelia ferruginea. Fitoterapia IX(4): 359-


Addae-Mensah, I., Achenbach, H. (1985). Terpenoids and flavonoids of Bridelia ferruginea. Phytochemistry 24(8):1817-1819.

Ghana Herbal Pharmacopoeia (1992). Bridelia Leaf. The Advent Press, Ghana, 25-27.

Rashid, M.A., Gustafson, K.R., Cardellina, J.H., Boyd, M.R. (2000). A new podophyllotoxin

derivative from Bridelia ferruginea. Natural Product Letters 14(4): 285-292.

Irobi, O.N., Moo-Young, M., Anderson, W.A., Daramola, S.O. (1994). Antimicrobial activity of

bark extracts of Bridelia ferruginea (Euphorbiaceae). Journal of Ethnopharmacology 43(3):185-190.


Cimanga, K., Ying, L., de Bruyne, T., Apers, S., Pieters, L. et al. (1999). Complement-inhibiting

Constituents of Bridelia ferruginea Stem Bark. Planta Medica 65:213-217.


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