Medicinal plants are used by traditional practitioners to treat several ailments. Ethnomedicinal studies on Trema orientalis Linn. Blume (Ulmaceae) have shown that it is used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, respiratory diseases, oliguria, and malaria. This article is aimed at providing comprehensive information on the medicinal uses, biology, phytochemical constituents, and pharmacological data available on T. orientalis. This has been done to explore its therapeutic potential for future research opportunities. This review was compiled with information obtained from databases such as Medline, Elsevier, Springer, Science Direct, Pubmed, Google Scholar, and a library search for articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Compounds present in the plant include tannins, saponins, flavanoids, triterpenes, phytosterols, and several constituents of xanthones. Some pharmacological research done on the plant has focused on, hypoglycemic activity, analgesic, anti-inflammatory activities, anti-plasmodial activity, diuretic activity, laxativity effect, anti-convulsant activity, anti-helmintic activity, anti-sickling effect, anti-oxidant, and anti-bacterial activity. This compilation strongly supports the view that T. orientalis has beneficial therapeutic properties, and indicates its potential as an effective herbal remedy for several diseases. The promising results from several research works could be further substantiated by clinical trials.
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