Voacanga africana is an evergreen shrub or tree growing from 1 – 11 metres tall and branching from low down. The bole can be 2 – 30cm in diameter. The tree has a long history of traditional medicinal use in Africa, where it also supplies food and a range of commodities. A bark or root-decoction is used to treat heart-troubles.
Xylopia consists of dried matured fruits of Xylopia aethiopica. An evergreen, aromatic tree growing up to 15m high; bark slightly ridged. A fruit extract, or a decoction of the bark, is useful in the treatment of bronchitis and dysenteric conditions. It is also used as a medicine for biliousness and febrile pains. The fruit is anthelmintic, antitussive, carminative, emmenagogue, purgative and a rubefacient to counter pain. The fruits are particularly recommended as a tonic both for women who wish to improve their fertility and for those who have recently given birth. The plant is said to contain anonaceine, which is an alkaloid resembling morphine in action according to some authorities, and according to others is a glycoside. The fruit contains a volatile aromatic oil, a fixed oil and rutin
Ginger consists of scraped or unscraped rhizomes of Zingiber officinale. An herbaceous perennial with fleshy creeping rhizome and leafy stem, leaves distichous and subsessile on the sheaths. The root is rich in volatile oils, gingerols and shogaols. The shogaols are only produced when the root is dried, as a breakdown substance of the gingerols. In vitro studies have shown that many constituents of ginger have antiinflammatory properties (Grzanna et al, 2005; Srivastava and Mustafa, 1989);