Cataract is an eye disease with clouding of the eye lens leading to disrupted vision, which often develops slowly and causes blurriness of the eyesight. Although the restoration of the vision in people with cataract is conducted through surgery, the costs and risks remain an issue. Botanical drugs have been evaluated for their potential efficacies in reducing cataract formation decades ago and major active phytoconstituents were isolated from the plant extracts. The aim of this review is to find effective phytoconstituents in cataract treatments in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo. A literature search was synthesized from the databases of Pubmed, Science Direct, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus using different combinations of keywords. Selection of all manuscripts were based on inclusion and exclusion criteria together with analysis of publication year, plant species, isolated phytoconstituents, and evaluated cataract activities. Scientists have focused their attention not only for anti-cataract activity in vitro, but also in ex vivo and in vivo from the review of active phytoconstituents in medicinal plants. In our present review, we identified 58 active phytoconstituents with strong anti-cataract effects at in vitro and ex vivo with lack of in vivo studies. Considering the benefits of anti-cataract activities require critical evaluation, more in vivo and clinical trials need to be conducted to increase our understanding on the possible mechanisms of action and the therapeutic effects.
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