University of Namibia, Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Windhoek, Namibia
Brandenburg University of Technology, Institute of Biotechnology, Senftenberg, Germany
| [c] Carbon Biotech Social Enterprise AG, Senftenberg, Germany
Corresponding author: Prof. Dr. Ateeq Rahman, University of Namibia, Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Windhoek, Namibia. Tel.:+264 206614553; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: The use of indigenous or remote popular knowledge to identify new drugs against diseases or infections is a well-known approach in medicine. The inhabitants of coastal regions in Namibia and other African countries are known to prepare algae extracts for the treatment of disorders and ailments such as wounds, fever and stomach aches, as well as for the prevention of arrhythmia, cancer, and many other diseases. Algae survive in a competitive environment and, therefore, developed defense strategies that have resulted in a significant level of chemical structural diversity in various metabolic pathways. The exploration of these organisms for pharmaceutical, nutritional and medical purposes has provided important chemical candidates for the discovery of new agents against neglected tropical diseases and stimulated the use of sophisticated physical techniques. This current review provides a broad picture on the taxonomy, various medical and nutritional uses of algae, which thus should be of relevance for the African continent and underdeveloped countries in the Global South.