Tabernaemontana crassa occurs in humid tropical Africa, from Sierra Leone east to the Central African Republic and eastern DR Congo, and southwards to northern Angola. It has large waxy leaves and pinwheel-shaped large fragrant flowers.
Tabernaemontana crassa contains a large number of indole alkaloids with interesting pharmacological activities. The alkaloid content is similar to that of Tabernaemontana pachysiphon, another medicinally important species. In West Africa pulped leaves and latex from the stem and bark of Tabernaemontana crassa have several uses, the main ones being as a local anaesthetic, e.g. to treat dislocated bones or headache, for the treatment of wounds, sores, abscesses and furuncles, and to treat dermal infections such as filaria, ringworm and fungal infections. The latex is also applied as a haemostatic, as it forms a film over the wound. It is taken internally as an anthelmintic. Powdered bark is traded internationally in herbal medicine shops.