Astringents contract the tissues and canals of the body. Chewing sticks are used for oral hygiene both as an antibacterial and desensitizing agent. Astringency of cold water extracts of Afzelia africana Sm. ex Pers. (Caesalpiniaceae), Dialium guineense Wild. (Fabaceae), Masularia acuminata (G.Don) Bullock ex. Hoyle, Rauwolfia vomitoria Afz. (Apocynaceae), Terminalia glauscens Planch. (Combretaceae), Vernonia amygdalina Del.(Asteraceae) and Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides (Lam.) Waterman (Rubiaceae) was measured by precipitating extracts with hemoglobin, centrifugation and loss of absorbance measured spectrophotometrically at 578 nm relative to tannic acid as Tannic Acid Equivalents (TAE). Total Tannin (TT) was determined using the protein tannin precipitation method and Total Phenols (TP) with Prussian blue. Relative Astringency (RA) was astringency of tannin present relative to tannic acid. Activity was in the order of Afzelia>Terminalia>Zanthoxylum>Masularia> Vernonia>Rauwolfia>Dialium. TT ranged from 106.92±0.03 mg/100 g dry plant in Dialium to 632.86±0.42 mg/100 g dry plant in Afzelia. TAE was 27.37±0.07 mg/100 g dry plant in Dialium to 148.11±0.07 mg/100 g dry plant in Afzelia. RA correlated positively with TAE (R2 = 0.8763) and TT (R2 = 0.9493). Desensitization may be due to the astringent activity as these extracts will form a protective layer on the exposed dentine; contract/block the tube like channels that pass through teeth and connect to nerves thereby reduce the ability of the nerves to transmit pain.