The so-called `cure salée’ (salt care) of cattle is a preventive treatment used in some African regions and based on the supply of salted mixtures prepared from ground parts (frequently bark) of selected medicinal plants. In spite of the known medicinal properties of these plants, no systematic study on their chemical constituents has been compiled to date. Thus, we want to review here the literature data on metabolites identified in these plants, with emphasis on bioactive compounds. In this frame, we will summarise our work carried out on some Guinean plants known to be used for the `cure salée`. As part of a search for bioactive natural products, we have screened the crude extracts of these plants on the basis of the Brine Shrimp Test (BST), the well-known general toxicity bioassay employing larvae of Artemia salina as test organisms. This preliminary screening was followed by cytotoxicity tests on tumoral cell cultures for selected species. The obtained biological data have guided the phytochemical analysis of Pericopsis laxiflora, Fagara macrophylla, Piliostigma thonningii and Parkia biglobosa, leading to the isolation and identification of a number of bioactive metabolites. Further data reported from chemical literature will be summarised and discussed.
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