Review of the traditional uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological activities of rhoicissus species (Vitaceae)

Nondumiso P. Dube, Xavier Siwe-Noundou*, Rui W.M. Krause, Douglas Kemboi, Vuyelwa Jacqueline Tembu*, Amanda Lee Manicum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Species within the genus Rhoicissus (Vitaceae) are commonly used in South African traditional medicine. The current review discusses the occurrence, distribution, traditional uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological properties of Rhoicissus species covering the period 1981–2020. The data reported were systematically collected, read, and analysed from scientific electronic databases including Scopus, Scifinder, Pubmed, and Google Scholar. Reported evidence indicates that species in this genus are used for the treatment of gastrointestinal complaints, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and infertility, as well as to tone the uterus during pregnancy and to facilitate delivery. Pharmacological studies have further shown that members of the Rhoicissus genus display antidiabetic, uterotonic, ascaricidal, hepatoprotective, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. They are linked to the presence of bioactive compounds isolated from the genus. Hence, Rhoicissus species can potentially be an alternative therapeutic strategy to treat diseases and develop safer and more potent drugs to combat diseases. Plant species of this genus have valuable medicinal benefits due to their significant pharmacological potential. However, scientific investigation and information of the therapeutic potential of Rhoicissus remain limited as most of the species in the genus have not been fully exploited. Therefore, there is a need for further investigations to exploit the therapeutic potential of the genus Rhoicissus. Future studies should evaluate the phytochemical, pharmacological, and toxicological activities, as well as the mode of action, of Rhoicissus crude extracts and secondary compounds isolated from the species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2306
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Botany
  • Cuneifolia
  • Pharmacology
  • Phytochemistry
  • Rhoicissus
  • Vitaceae


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