Dacryodes edulis is cultivated in western parts of Africa for its edible fruit. The plant is a rich source of phytochemicals, and these may contribute to the medicinal effects of the plant, particularly the pulp of the fruit and the bark. A number of conditions are treated with Dacryodes edulis including wounds, skin disease, dysentry and fever. The fruit pulp and seeds are rich in lipids (palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and arachidonic acids) with the exact amount depending on the location and conditions of cultivation. An essential oil within the plant tissues is thought to contain α-pinene, α-terpineol, myrcene, germacrene-D, terpinen-4-ol, α-thujene, β-caryophyllene, sabinene, β-phellandrene and limonene. Phenolic compounds include ethylgallate, quercitrin, petunidin, cyanidin and tannins. The presence of saponins, tannins, alkaloids and flavonoids may explain the medicinal effects of the plant as all of these groups of compounds have been evidenced to have significant therapeutic value.
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