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A review of the ethnobotanical uses, pharmacology, toxicology, management and cultivation of selected South African protected multi-purpose tree species

van Wyk, A.S., Prinsloo, G.
South African journal of botany 2019 v.124 pp. 258-269
Warburgia salutaris, bark, beverages, conservation status, construction materials, environmental law, ethnobotany, extinction, fruits, fuelwood, habitats, harvesting, household products, laws and regulations, livelihood, medicine, multipurpose trees, pharmacology, roots, rural communities, seeds, selection criteria, toxicology, South Africa
Multi-purpose tree species contribute towards the livelihoods of people in rural communities. Bark, roots, fruits and seeds of several South African indigenous tree species are harvested to use as medicines, food and/or beverages. The woody parts of the same trees are often also used as firewood or building material, or for the production of carved household products. Many South African tree species have specific habitat requirements that limit their distribution, and several also have low reproduction and growth rates. South Africa has 44 indigenous tree species that are protected by law. South Africa's environmental legislation prohibits the harvesting of protected plants or plant parts, however, legislation merely slowed down the rate of increase in exploitation without providing a sustainable solution. The management of indigenous tree species in their natural habitats is essential, however, the cultivation of culturally important protected multi-purpose tree species should also be promoted considering that multi-purpose tree species are more vulnerable to extinction than single-use tree species. This review therefore discusses the ethnobotanical uses, management and the cultivation possibilities/methods of selected indigenous protected multi-purpose South African tree species. The review further provides pharmacological and toxicological reports of the selected species. The selection criteria included the tree species' multiple uses, its protected status, its conservation status and its cultural importance as a medicine. One single-use protected indigenous tree species, Warburgia salutaris, is included in this review due its cultural importance as a medicine.