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Molecules 2016, 21(8), 1048; doi:10.3390/molecules21081048

Parasitic Mistletoes of the Genera Scurrula and Viscum: From Bench to Bedside

1
Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jalan Tungku Link, BE 1410 Gadong, Brunei
2
Institute for Biodiversity and Environmental Research (IBER), Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jalan Tungku Link, BE 1410 Gadong, Brunei
3
Biology Faculty, Vinh University, 182 Le Duan, 470000 Vinh City, Nghe An Province, Vietnam
4
Faculty of Science, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jalan Tungku Link, BE 1410 Gadong, Brunei
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Received: 28 May 2016 / Revised: 31 July 2016 / Accepted: 4 August 2016 / Published: 17 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4152 KB, uploaded 17 August 2016]   |  

Abstract

The mistletoes, stem hemiparasites of Asia and Europe, have been used as medicinal herbs for many years and possess sophisticated systems to obtain nutrients from their host plants. Although knowledge about ethnomedicinal uses of mistletoes is prevalent in Asia, systematic scientific study of these plants is still lacking, unlike its European counterparts. This review aims to evaluate the literature on Scurrula and Viscum mistletoes. Both mistletoes were found to have anticancer, antimicrobial, antioxidant and antihypertensive properties. Plants from the genus Scurrula were found to inhibit cancer growth due to presence of phytoconstituents such as quercetin and fatty acid chains. Similar to plants from the genus Viscum, Scurrula also possesses TNFα activity to strengthen the immune system to combat cancer. In line with its anticancer activity, both mistletoes are rich in antioxidants that confer protection against cancer as well as neurodegeneration. Extracts from plants of both genera showed evidence of vasodilation and thus, antihypertensive effects. Other therapeutic effects such as weight loss, postpartum and gastrointestinal healing from different plants of the genus Scurrula are documented. As the therapeutic effects of plants from Scurrula are still in exploration stage, there is currently no known clinical trial on these plants. However, there are few on-going clinical trials for Viscum album that demonstrate the functionalities of these mistletoes. Future work required for exploring the benefits of these plants and ways to develop both parasitic plants as a source of pharmacological drug are explained in this article. View Full-Text
Keywords: ethnomedicinal uses; hemiparasite; clinical trials; cancer; antioxidant; Loranthus; Santalales; polyphenol; complementary medicine; solid tumor ethnomedicinal uses; hemiparasite; clinical trials; cancer; antioxidant; Loranthus; Santalales; polyphenol; complementary medicine; solid tumor
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lim, Y.C.; Rajabalaya, R.; Lee, S.H.F.; Tennakoon, K.U.; Le, Q.-V.; Idris, A.; Zulkipli, I.N.; Keasberry, N.; David, S.R. Parasitic Mistletoes of the Genera Scurrula and Viscum: From Bench to Bedside. Molecules 2016, 21, 1048.

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