Cardiac Glycosides from African Medicinal Plants as Promising Therapeutics


  • Idayat A. Akinwumi Pharmacognosy Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Lead City University, Ibadan, Nigeria
  • Owoola A. Ambali Biomedical Sciences Department, School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of The Gambia, Independence Drive, Banjul.



Therapeutics, Pharmacology, Medicinal plants, Cardiac glycosides, Bioactive compounds


Cardiac glycosides are a vast class of secondary chemicals found in nature from several sources and have a variety of applications. They also have a similar chemical structure. The present review aims to provide an updated review of cardiac glycosides isolated from African medicinal plants as promising therapeutics. The literature review used several internet resources, including Google, Google Scholar, PubMed, Medline, Research Gate, Web of Sciences, ScienceDirect, and SciFinder using the search terms "cardiac glycosides," "African medicinal plants," "natural products," "pharmacology," "isolated compounds," and "bioactivity". Cardiac glycosides are particularly prevalent in the families Apocynaceae and Asclepiadaceae. Several cardiac glycosides with known pharmacological properties, including cytotoxicity, antiviral, enzyme-inhibitory, anti-inflammatory, and neurotoxic properties, have been identified from African medicinal plants. Despite the numerous pharmacological activities of cardiac glycosides, the toxic side effects of several of these drugs may severely limit their therapeutic usage in humans. It was discovered that there was limited information on the isolation and characterisation of cardiac glycosides from plants in West Africa and the rest of the world while evaluating the literature on the pharmacological actions of cardiac glycosides. The lack of data on this molecule might result in knowledge extinction and prevent biological experiments on the secondary metabolite. Future studies should concentrate on the plants that have not yet been investigated to possibly isolate new cardiac glycosides and other kinds of chemicals. So, numerous biological functions may be tested on isolated molecules.


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How to Cite

Akinwumi, I. A., & Ambali, O. A. (2024). Cardiac Glycosides from African Medicinal Plants as Promising Therapeutics. Tropical Journal of Phytochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 3(2), 158–167.