Coral tree: 10 benefits of Erythrina abyssinica

Coral tree benefits
Coral tree health benefits

Coral tree (Erythrina abyssinica) is a flowering plant with several health benefits. It is a deciduous leguminous plant with bright red flowers that look like the sea coral. The Erythrina abyssinica plant is commonly found in East Africa, but can also be found in Central and South Africa.

Every part of Coral tree possess great medicinal benefits. The can be made into a decoction in different extracting solvents, ground into a powder and used for tea making, or made into a paste for topical uses. The method of preparation and use is basically determined by the health condition.

The coral tree is a woody branched tree that can grow up to 50 meters. It has been used as an ornamental plant in Mauritius and several tropical regions of Asia, and Central America, due to its brightly colored flower petals.

Health benefits of Coral tree

The pharmacological properties of Erythrina abyssinica is based on the presence certain bioactive compounds such as alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, terpenoids, glycosides, saponins, flavones, and anthraquinones.

Coral tree leaves is beneficial for treating diabetes

Coral tree leaves possess strong hypoglycemic activity which is beneficial for reducing the incidence diabetes mellitus. Some studies have specified the antidiabetic activity of both the water and ethanol extract on Type II diabetes. The leaves also possess hypolipidemia. These may be the reason the leaves have such curative and preventive effect on diabetic patients. Remember that the leaves have been used in traditional medicines to treat people with diabetes.

In his study, Derek Tantoh Ndinteh showed that Coral tree exhibited antidiabetic activity against type 2 diabetes through the inhibition of protein tyrosine phosphate 1B, which recently recently identified as a major negative regulator in the insulin-signaling pathway. He also identified the bioactive compounds responsible for this activity as flavonoids.

In another study, the antidiabetic activity of the stem bark was linked to the stimulation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity with varying potencies at 10 μM concentrations. Activated AMPK plays a critical role in glucose and lipid metabolism such as enhancing insulin sensitivity, stimulating glucose uptake in the muscles, suppressing gluconeogenesis in the liver, increased oxidation of fatty acids, and diminished fatty acid synthesis. In their review study, Samuel Baker Obakiro and his groups identified Benzofurans, coumestans, and flavanones isolated from the stem bark of Coral tree as the active compounds responsible for stimulation of AMPK. Another compound, Sigmoidin A, a flavanone isolated from the stem bark of E. abyssinica showed a considerable in vitro inhibitory activity on pancreatic lipase and α-glucosidase enzyme.

Coral tree suppresses anemia

When you body is has low volume of red blood cells, or is deficient in iron, it can result in anemic condition, with certain symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, fast heartbeat, dizziness, and headache. Luckily, the stem bark of Erythrina abyssinica possess strong anti-anemic activity. It can significantly increased the diminished levels of hemoglobin (Hb), red blood cells, and packed cell volume when you boil the stem bark and drink as tea.

May be beneficial for Cancer treatment

The stem bark of Coral tree possess several anticancer bioactive compounds. Some of this compounds such as erythribyssins A -C, flavones and some alkaloids exhibits cytotoxicity against several cancer cell lines. The mechanism of action of Coral tree anticancer compounds have been found to be through cytotoxicity and protein tyrosine phosphatase -1B (PTP1B) inhibition. PTP1B has recently gained wide attention with respect to cancer cell proliferation and metastasis, especially in breast, gastric, and cervical cancers.

According to some scientific studies, inhibition of PTP1B may be effective strategy for the treatment of human breast cancer, and Coral tree stem bark possesses several bioactive compounds with PTP1B inhibition and cytotoxicity against MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast adenocarcinoma cell lines. These remarkable anticancer properties of the stem bark of Coral tree make it a beneficial home remedy for treating breast cancer patients.

Coral tree is for treating viral diseases

In traditional medicine, Coral tree has been used for the treatment of HIV, herpes virus, and Respiratory syncytial virus. These claims have been scientifically proved. To treat virus infection using Coral tree, boil the stem bark in water, and be drinking a cup of the decoction. You may want to add perilla leaves, pigeon pea leaves and roots, and turmeric to the decoction. These herbs mentioned also possess strong viral activities against several viruses, including hepatitis B and C viruses.

Coral tree for epilepsy

Just like Ficus platyphylla, Coral tree stem bark has been used traditionally for treating epilepsy and convulsion in children. The two plant enhance the GABA-ergic neurotransmission by suppressing GABA-ergic inhibitors.

Coral tree for treating tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is potential chronic bacterial infection that affects the lungs. It is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and is characterized by persistent dry cough. This terrible infectious disease is still, unfortunate common in the developing countries of Africa, which necessitates the search, among native dwellers, for remedies to ameliorate the serious effect if not totally cure tuberculosis. In both Tanzania and Uganda, and other parts of Eastern and Southern Africa, Coral tree roots have been in use for the treatment of tuberculosis. This claim has also been verified scientifically. The methanol and ethanol extracts, when combined with refampicin, which is a standard drug, exhibited a complete complete inhibitory effect on the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This synergistic effects of the extract and standard drugs showed that you can take the herbal decoction alongside standard drugs.

May quicken wound healing

The leaf and stem bark extracts of Coral tree have been used in wound management. To use Coral tree for wound healing, add the leaf and stem extract in a paraffin oil and apply topically. Other herbal remedies for managing wounds include bitter kola and Ficus platyphylla stem bark.

Coral tree is protects your liver

Coral tree can also be used to treat liver related toxicity from free radicals. It also protects you from developing fatty liver, steatosis, liver inflammation, and hepatic ballooning. Bitter leaf juice is another herb that detoxifies the body and protect the liver from toxic and oxidative agents.

Coral tree is beneficial for treating infections

The stem bark and roots of Coral tree have exhibited strong activity against sexually transmitted bacterial and fungal infections such as staphylococcus aureus, enterococcus faecium, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. An alcoholic or water decoction of both the stem bark and roots may be taken orally at an advisable dosage, for the treatment of urinary tract infections.

Coral tree possesses estrogen-like property

The majority of peri-menopausal women develop symptoms associated with reduced estrogen secretion. This reduced estrogen secretion is usually associated with symptoms such as insomnia, loss of libido, depressions, vaginal dryness, and hot flashes, which may greatly affect their life styles. Luckily however, possess some active compounds which mimic estrogen functions, called phytoestrogens.

This estrogen like compounds in Coral tree extracts have been found to greatly reduce hot flashes associated with menopause.

This estrogen-like activity of Coral tree is of great benefits to women, because the usual administration of estrogen and progesterone by menopausal women have been found to pose detrimental effects than their benefits, but estrogen-like compounds from natural sources do not exhibit such toxic properties, making Coral tree a good herb



Owor, Richard w& Obakiro, Samuel & Kiprop, Ambrose & Kigondu, Elizabeth & Ko’wino, Isaac & Odero, Mark & Scolastica, Manyim & Omara, Timothy & Gavamukulya, Yahaya & Bunalema, Lydia & Namukobe, Jane. (2021). Traditional Medicinal Uses, Phytoconstituents, Bioactivities, and Toxicities of Erythrina abyssinica Lam. ex DC. (Fabaceae): A Systematic Review. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2021. 5513484. 10.1155/2021/5513484.

Ndinteh, Derek. (2018). Antidiabetic Potential of Erythrina abyssinica via Protein Tyrosine Phosphate 1B Inhibitory Activity. 377-389. 10.1007/978-3-319-60408-4_22.

J. Aber, P. E. Ogwang, N. Anyama, and C. O. Ajayi, “In vitro anti-tuberculous study on the combination of extracts of stem-bark of Erythrina abyssinica Lam. ex DC and conventional drugs,” Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 2708–2711, 2019.
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Samuel Baker Obakiro, Ambrose Kiprop, Elizabeth Kigondu, Isaac K’Owino, Mark Peter Odero, Scolastica Manyim, Timothy Omara, Jane Namukobe, Richard Oriko Owor, Yahaya Gavamukulya, Lydia Bunalema, “Traditional Medicinal Uses, Phytoconstituents, Bioactivities, and Toxicities of Erythrina abyssinica Lam. ex DC. (Fabaceae): A Systematic Review“, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2021, Article ID 5513484, 43 pages, 2021.


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