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Scientific Name:
Xylopia aromatica, X. aethiopica
Family Name:
Common Name:
Ethiopian pepper, fruta de burro
Evidence of Activity
Xylopia aromatica extracts were shown to be inactive against pancreatic lipase enzyme; however, a butanolic fraction exhibited inhibition against dipeptidyl peptidase IV. Fatty acid quantification showed oleic and linoleic acid to be predominant in X. aromatica fruit. Oliveira 2018
Xylopia aethiopica compounds exhibited cytotoxicity against multidrug resistant cancer cell lines, inducing apoptosis in leukemia CCRF-CEM cells by disrupting mitochondrial membrane potential and inducing apoptosis mediated by reactive oxygen species production. Kuete 2015
An isobolographic analysis of the antinociceptive effect of xylopic acid from Xylopia aethiopica fruit extract in combination with morphine or diclofenac showed co-administration to result in dose-dpendent antinociception and synergism. Woode 2015
Xylopia aethiopica bark ethanolic and hydroethanolic (BEH) extracts were shown to scavenge all the tested radicals with BEH exhibiting the highest total antioxidant capacity. Moukette Moukette 2015
Essential oils of Xylopia aethiopica and X. parviflora from Chad and Cameroon were shown to exert cytotoxic activity against cancer (MCF-7) and normal cell lines (ARPE-19) with more pronounced effect on neoplastic cells. Bakarnga-Via 2014
Xylopia aromatica was among 308 extracts from 102 Venezuelan species exhibiting cytostatic activity against a panel of six tumor cell lines using a 24-h sulphorhodamine B assay. Taylor 2013
A study of the cytotoxicity of four Cameroon spices used to treat cancers showed Xylopia aethiopica to be effective against leukemia CCRF-CEM and HL60AR cells, inducing apoptosis via alteration of mitochondrial membrane potential. Kuete 2013
An evaluation of four African spices, including Xylopia aethiopica, on breast cancer cells and isolated rat hepatic mitochondria showed X. aethiopica to be cytotoxic to the cell lines, as well as to increase hepatic mitochondrial state 2/4 respiration and decrease respiratory control ratio. Choumessi 2012
Xylopia aethiopica ethanol extract exhibited antiproliferative activity against HCT116 colon cancer and KG1a leukemia cells, with the active fraction ent-15-oxokaur-16-en-19-oic acid inducing DNA damage, cell cycle arrest in G1 phase, and apoptotic cell death. Choumessi 2012
An in vitro study in rat pancreas with six spice extracts, including Xylopia aethiopica, showed inhibition of α-amylase, α-glucosidase, DPPH radicals, and sodium nitroprusside-induced lipid peroxidation, with X. aethiopica exhibiting the greatest activity. Adefegha 2012
In a study on the antiproliferative action of Xylopia aethiopica fruit extract on human cervical cancer cells, apoptosis was confirmed by nuclear fragmentation and sub-G(0)/G(1) phase accumulation; cell cycle was arrested at the G(2)/M phase with a decreased G(0)/G(1) population. Adaramoye 2011
Xylopia aethiopica methanol extract was shown to dose-dependently inhibit more than 50% proliferation of three tested cancer cells lines (human pancreatic MiaPaCa-2, leukemia CCRF-CEM, and the multidrug resistant subline CEM/ADR5000). Kuete 2011
Xylopia aethiopica essential oils were shown to exhibit various degrees of activity against gram+ bacteria Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus, gram- bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and the yeast-like fungus Candida albicans but not against Escherichia coli. Fleischer 2008
The antiplasmodial activity of extracts was tested invitro against chloroquine resistant falciparum strain(FcB1), which showed strongest antiplasmodial activity for hexanic extracts of Xylopia aromatica root wood (IC(50)=4.7 mcg/ml) & Xylopia emarginata root bark (IC(50)= 4.9 mcg/ml). de Mesquita 2007
Ethnobotanical & chemotaxonomical studies for antiparasitic activity of Colombian Annonaceae revealed that extracts from Annona muricata, Rollinia exsucca, Rollinia pittieri & Xylopia aromatica were active against Leishmania spp. & Trypanosoma cruzi showing IC50 values lower than 25 microg/ml. Osorio 2007
In vitro cytotoxic activity of certain Brazilian plant extracts including Xylopia aromatica was investigated against human lung, colon and CNS solid cancers ( NCI-H460, KM-12, SF-268 and RPMI-8226 cancer cell lines) and leukemia. Suffredini 2007
Among the eight Brazilian plants of Annonaceae family tested, extracts of Xylopia frutescens & X. amazonica, showed maximum antibacterial activity. Trachylobanic acid isolated from Xylopia sp. showed antibacterial activity against B. subtilis and S. aureus. Takahashi 2006
Out of 10 vegetal extracts traditionally used in Colombia to treat malaria symptoms, eight extracts displayed good activity including Xylopia aromatica against Plasmodium falciparum. In the ferriprotoporphyrin iomineralization inhibition test five extracts were active including X. aromatica. Garavito 2006
Hexanic and ethanolic extract from 27 plant species from the Cerrado biome of Brazil were tested for larvicidal activity against 3rd-stage Aedes aegypti larvae at 500 microg/ml which revealed that Xylopia aromatica was effective at 384.37 microg/ml along with 6 other species. Rodrigues 2006
Compound periconicin B, isolated from the ethyl acetate extract of Periconia atropurpurea, an endophytic fungus obtained from the leaves of Xylopia aromatica, showed cytotoxic activity against mammalian cell lines, human cervix carcinoma (HeLa) and Chinese hamster ovary, with an IC50 of 8.0 microM. Teles 2006
Out of seven diterpenes, belonging to three different structural classes and isolated from the bark of Xylopia aethiopica, investigated against the enzymes prolyl endopeptidase and alpha-thrombin, five compounds exhibited inhibitory activity against them. Diderot 2005
Essential oils from Cameroon applied as fumigant or contact insecticides against Sitophilus zeamais Motsch revealed that 1% of essential oils of Xylopia aethiopica produced 96 and 95% mortality as contact insecticides and fumigant respectively. Kouninki 2005
Antimicrobial activity from methanol extracts of Aframomum melegueta, Piper guineense, Xylopia aethiopica, Zingiber officinale, medicinal plants of Ghana, are reported. Konning 2004
The bisbenzyltetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloids (-)-medelline, (+)-antioquine, (+)-aromoline & (+)-obamegine, (+)-thaligrisine & (+)-isotetrandrine, isolated from fruits of Xylopia columbiana & their O-acetylated derivatives acted as inhibitors of mitochondrial complex I of beef heart. Granell 2004
The fruits essential oil of Xylopia aethiopica obtained from Nigeria showed activity against four microorganisms and cytotoxicity to carcinoma cells (Hep-2 cell line) at 5 mg/ml concentration. Asekun 2004
The essential oils of Xylopia aethiopica, Monodora myristica, Zanthoxylum xanthoxyloïdes and Z. leprieurii, four Cameroonian plants used as spices in local food, showed antibacterial and antifungal activity. Tatsadjieu 2003
Five essential oils extracted from Cameroonian plants Xylopia phloiodora, Pachy-podanthium confine, Antidesma laciniatum, Xylopia aethiopica, & Hexalobus crispiflorus were evaluated for & found to possess anti-plasmodial activity against the W2 strain of Plasmodium falciparum. Boyom 2003
A study of antiparasitical extracts from various organs showed an activity of fruits & leaves of Xylopia aethiopica on Leishmania donovani. The presence of acetogenins, substances with antiparasitical activity, could partly explain their biological proprieties. [Article in French] Fall 2003
Subjecting the extractives, crude and pure, of Alepidea amatymbica and Xylopia aethiopica to bioassay-directed phytochemical examination revealed systemic hypotensive & coronary vasodilatory effect accompanied with bradycardia, diuretic and natriuretic effects. Somova 2001
A study conducted on protection of stored maize against Sitophilus zeamais (Motsch.) with six essential oils of spices from Cameroon revealed that essential oil of Xylopia aethiopica Dunal (Anonaceae) killed 97% of adults weevils. Ngamo 2001
19 species belonging to 13 families from Brazilian flora were evaluated for the inhibition of 5-lipoxygenase revealing that Hedychium coronarium (Zingiberaceae), Xylopia frutescens (Annonaceae) & Hymenaea courbaril L.(Leguminosae) presented a high 5-lipoxygenase inhibitory activity. Braga 2000
The in vitro antiplasmodial activities of 14 plant species used in Central America for malaria or fever were evaluated. Lipophilic extracts of 5 herbs including Xylopia cf. frutescens, proved to be active against both a chloroquine-sensitive & a resistant strain of Plasmodium falciparum. Jenett-Siems 1999
In an in vitro microbial assay to determine effectiveness of certain plant extracts against aflatoxin synthesis, extracts from Xylopia aethiopica, Monodera myristica, Cinnamomum verum & Piper nigrum permitted fungal growth in 1.5% potato-dextrose broth while completely suppressing NOR formation. Awuah 1996
A study on the influence of four Nigerian food additives on the mutagenicity of aflatoxin B1 using the Ames' salmonella mutagenicity assay system revealed that the most mutagenic of the doses of the extracts are 3mg each of Xylopia aethiopica & Monodora. Osowole 1992
Xylopic acid & 4 other isolates from fruits of Xylopia aethiopica used in Ghanaian folklore medicines, were tested against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa & Candida albicans. Xylopic acid & two other isolates showed antimicrobial properties. Boakye-Yiadom 1977
History of Record
February 2008
MAJOR REVISION BY: J Mohanasundaram, MD, PhD
April 2018
April 2018