Journal of Medicinal Plant and Herbal Therapy Research
ISSN: 2053-1826
Vol. 7(2), pp. 8-18, September 2020

Review on the phytochemistry, toxicology and bioactivities of Euphorbia hirta L.: A potential antisickling medicinal plant species

Nelly Nzuzi Panzu1,2, Clément Inkoto Liyongo3*, Ngbolua Koto-te-Nyiwa3, Florent Mukeba Biduaya4, Jules Munganga Kitadi1, Taba Kalulu1, Blaise Mbala Mavinga1, Dorothée Tshilanda Dinangai1, Jean Pierre Kayembe Kayembe5 and
Pius Mpiana Tshimankinda1

1Department of Chemistry, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
2Faculty of medicine, Protestant University of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
3Department of Biology, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
4Department of Biology, National Pedagogical University, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
5Research Focus Area for Chemical Resource Beneficiation (CRB), Catalysis and Synthesis Research Group, North-West University, Potchefstroom 2522, South Africa.

*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:

Received 29 June, 2020; Received in revised form 03 August, 2020; Accepted 06 August, 2020.


Euphorbia hirta, Pharmacology, Phyto-constituents, Model system, Toxycology.

Sickle cell disease is a genetic disease, characterized by presence of Hemoglobin S that can polymerize and lead to severe anemia. The treatment of this hemoglobinopathy is symptomatic and the most effective treatment to date remains bone marrow transplantation. However, this treatment is not inaccessible to the majority of population of developing countries. Medicinal plant species such as Euphorbia hirta could offer a way to manage this disease. In traditional medicine, E. hirta L. (Euphorbiaceae Family) has been used to treat various diseases such as diabetes, malaria, cancer, hemorrhoids, diarrhea, thrombosis and helminthiasis. This literature review was carried out to describe the traditional use, phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology of this plant used in African traditional medicine. The collected bibliographical data show that extracts of E. hirta are active in against different diseases. This activity would be due to the presence of phyto-compounds including flavonoids, tannins, terpenoids and saponins. It is therefore probable that this plant could also be effective against sickle cell disease because of the presence of polyphenols and triterpenoids known for their anti-sickling properties. In addition, these revealed that E. hirta would also increase the red blood cells count, white blood cells count and hemoglobin content of the fish at higher dose. This study could therefore serve as guide in the search of novel anti-sickling drugs of relevance from this plant, to improve human health and wellbeing. The in vitro evaluation of the anti-sickling activity of E. hirta is in progress according to chemotaxonomic approach.

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