Mondia whitei, a medicinal plant from Africa with aphrodisiac and antidepressant properties: a review

J Diet Suppl. 2012 Dec;9(4):272-84. doi: 10.3109/19390211.2012.726704. Epub 2012 Oct 8.


This paper reviews the literature concerning the ethnobotany, phytochemistry, and pharmacology of Mondia whitei, which is also known as Mondia whytei, African ginger or simply as mondia. Mondia is used in many parts of Africa as a traditional remedy to improve appetite and libido, as a galactagogue, as a fertility medication, and as an antidepressant. In African countries, where it is used medicinally, the most commonly cited use is as an aphrodisiac. The scientific studies reviewed in this report employed either in vivo rodent models or isolated organ techniques, and therefore the results cannot be directly extrapolated to humans. Nevertheless, these studies provide scientific evidence that support the traditional uses of mondia as an aphrodisiac and an antidepressant. Based on the safety data available in the literature, mondia is reasonably expected to be safe when prepared and used according to traditional practices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents*
  • Aphrodisiacs*
  • Apocynaceae* / chemistry
  • Ethnobotany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine, African Traditional
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Rats
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Aphrodisiacs
  • Plant Extracts