Special Issue "Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts"

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Francisco Les
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad San Jorge, 50830 Villanueva de Gállego (Zaragoza), Spain
2. Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón-IA2 (CITA-Universidad de Zaragoza), 50059 Zaragoza, Spain
Interests: pharmacology and pharmacy; pharmacognosy; ethnopharmacology; plant science; medicinal plants; food science; natural products; nutrition and dietetics; bioactive foods
Dr. Víctor López
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad San Jorge, 50830 Villanueva de Gállego (Zaragoza), Spain
Interests: natural products; functional foods; medicinal plants; bioactive compounds; polyphenols; anthocyanins; antioxidants; enzyme inhibitors
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Guillermo Cásedas
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad San Jorge
Interests: natural products; berries; neuroprotection; anthocyanins; antioxidants; cell culture

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Medicinal plants and natural products have played a central role in therapeutics, being considered the origin of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. Plants are still a source in nature to obtain and isolate molecules with pharmacological applications (drug discovery) but can also be used as herbal medicinal products in traditional or complementary medicine.

In addition, the WHO has launched a Traditional Medicine Strategy (2014–2023), including herbal medicines as medicinal therapies, with the aim to ensure the quality, safety, proper use, and effectiveness of traditional medicines, among other objectives.

For all these reasons, this Special Issue on “Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts” includes a collection of original research and review articles on new advances in the development and application of bioactive compounds and extracts from plant matrices.

Dr. Francisco Les
Dr. Víctor López
Dr. Guillermo Cásedas
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Medicinal plants
  • Herbal medicines
  • Bioactive compounds
  • Pharmacognosy
  • Plant extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • Ethopharmacogy
  • Essential oils
  • Aromatic plants
  • Antioxidants
  • Natural products
  • Phytochemicals

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts
Biology 2021, 10(7), 634; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070634 - 08 Jul 2021
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Nature is an inexhaustible source of bioactive compounds and products with interesting medicinal properties and technological applications [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
Essential Oil of Foeniculum vulgare Mill. as a Green Fungicide and Defense-Inducing Agent against Fusarium Root Rot Disease in Vicia faba L.
Biology 2021, 10(8), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10080696 - 22 Jul 2021
Viewed by 544
Abstract
Fusarium solani, the causative agent of root rot disease is one of the major constraints of faba bean (Vicia faba L.) yield worldwide. Essential oils have become excellent plant growth stimulators besides their antifungal properties. Foeniculum vulgare Mill. (fennel) is a [...] Read more.
Fusarium solani, the causative agent of root rot disease is one of the major constraints of faba bean (Vicia faba L.) yield worldwide. Essential oils have become excellent plant growth stimulators besides their antifungal properties. Foeniculum vulgare Mill. (fennel) is a familiar medicinal plant that has inhibitory effects against phytopathogenic fungi. Herein, different concentrations of fennel seed essential oil (FSEO) (12.5, 25, 50, 100, 200 and 400 μL/mL) were examined against F. solani KHA10 (accession number MW444555) isolated from rotted roots of faba bean in vitro and in vivo. The chemical composition of FSEO, through gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy, revealed 10 major compounds. In vitro, FSEO inhibited F. solani with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 25 µL/mL. In vivo, FSEO suppressed Fusarium root rot disease in Vicia faba L. by decreasing the disease severity (61.2%) and disease incidence (50%), and acted as protective agent (32.5%) of Vicia faba L. Improvements in morphological and biochemical parameters were recorded in FSEO-treated faba seeds. Moreover, the expression level of the defense-related genes defensin and chitinase was noticeably enhanced in treated plants. This study suggested using FSEO as a promising antifungal agent against F. solani not only to control root rot disease but also to enhance plant growth and activate plant defense. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Article
Development and Optimization of Supercritical Fluid Extraction Setup Leading to Quantification of 11 Cannabinoids Derived from Medicinal Cannabis
Biology 2021, 10(6), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10060481 - 28 May 2021
Viewed by 1510
Abstract
In this study, the optimal setup of supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) was designed and developed, leading to the quantitation of 11 distinct cannabinoids (cannabidivann (CBDV), tetrahydrocannabivann (THCV), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG) cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), cannabinol (CBN), delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9 [...] Read more.
In this study, the optimal setup of supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) was designed and developed, leading to the quantitation of 11 distinct cannabinoids (cannabidivann (CBDV), tetrahydrocannabivann (THCV), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG) cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), cannabinol (CBN), delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), delta 8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8-THC), cannabichomere (CBC) and delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA-A)) extracted from the flowers of medicinal cannabis (sp. Sativa). Supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) extraction was performed at 37 °C, a pressure of 250 bar with the maximum theoretical density of CO2 (893.7 kg/m3), which generated the highest yield of cannabinoids from the flower-derived extract. Additionally, a cold separator (separating chamber) was used and positioned immediately after the sample containing chamber to maximize the yield. It was also found that successive washing of the extract with fresh scCO2 further increased yields. Ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with DAD (uHPLC-DAD) was used to develop a method for the quantification of 11 cannabinoids. The C18 stationary phase was used in conjunction with a two solvent system gradient program resulting in the acquisition of the well-resolved chromatogram over a timespan of 32 min. The accuracy and precision of isolated cannabinoids across inter-and intra-day periods were within acceptable limits (<±15%). The assay was also fully validated and deemed sensitive from linearity, LOQ, and LOD perspective. The findings of this body of work are expected to facilitate improved conditions for the optimal extraction of select cannabinoids using scCO2, which holds promise in the development of well-characterized medicinal cannabis formulations. As to our best knowledge, this is the first study to report the uHPLC quantification method for the analysis of 11 cannabinoids from scCO2 extract in a single run with more than 1 min peak separation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Article
Jasonia glutinosa (L.) DC., a Traditional Herbal Tea, Exerts Antioxidant and Neuroprotective Properties in Different In Vitro and In Vivo Systems
Biology 2021, 10(5), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050443 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 746
Abstract
In traditional medicine, Jasonia glutinosa (L.) DC or rock tea (RT) has been mainly used to treat digestive and respiratory pathologies but also as an antimicrobial or an antidepressant herbal remedy. An ethanolic extract of RT has been demonstrated to have antioxidant and [...] Read more.
In traditional medicine, Jasonia glutinosa (L.) DC or rock tea (RT) has been mainly used to treat digestive and respiratory pathologies but also as an antimicrobial or an antidepressant herbal remedy. An ethanolic extract of RT has been demonstrated to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which may be explained by its phytochemical profile, rich in polyphenols and pigments. The aim of this study is to investigate the neuroprotective potential of RT. For this purpose, the ethanolic extract of RT is assayed in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) as an in vivo model, and through in vitro assays using monoamine oxidase A, tyrosinase and acetylcholinesterase as enzymes. The RT extract reduces juglone-induced oxidative stress in worms and increases the lifespan and prevents paralysis of C. elegans CL4176, a model of Alzheimer’s disease; the extract is also able to inhibit enzymes such as acetylcholinesterase, monoamine oxidase A and tyrosinase in vitro. Together these results demonstrate that Jasonia glutinosa is a good candidate with antioxidant and neuroprotective potential for the development of new products with pharmaceutical interests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Article
Effects on Steroid 5-Alpha Reductase Gene Expression of Thai Rice Bran Extracts and Molecular Dynamics Study on SRD5A2
Biology 2021, 10(4), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10040319 - 11 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1288
Abstract
Steroid 5-alpha reductases (SRD5As) are responsible for the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, a potent androgen, which is the aetiologic factor of androgenetic alopecia. This study aimed to compare the SRD5A gene expression suppression activity exerted by Thai rice bran extracts and their [...] Read more.
Steroid 5-alpha reductases (SRD5As) are responsible for the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, a potent androgen, which is the aetiologic factor of androgenetic alopecia. This study aimed to compare the SRD5A gene expression suppression activity exerted by Thai rice bran extracts and their components and investigate the interactional mechanism between bioactive compounds and SRD5A2 using molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. Bran of Oryza sativa cv. Tubtim Chumphae (TRB), Yamuechaebia Morchor (YRB), Riceberry (RRB), and Malinil Surin (MRB), all rice milling by-products, was solvent-extracted. The ethanolic extract of TRB had the highest sum of overall bioactive compounds (γ-oryzanol; α-, β-, and γ-tocopherol; phenolics; and flavonoids). Among all extracts, TRB greatly downregulated the expression of SRD5A1, SRD5A2, and SRD5A3; there were no significant differences between TRB and finasteride regarding SRD5A suppression. The linear relationship and principal component analysis supported that the α-tocopherol content was correlated with the SRD5A suppression exerted by TRB. Furthermore, MD simulation demonstrated that α-tocopherol had the highest binding affinity towards SRD5A2 by interacting with residues Phe118 and Trp201. Our findings indicate that α-tocopherol effectively downregulates the expression of SRD5A genes and inhibits SRD5A2 activity, actions that are comparable to standard finasteride. TRB, a source of α-tocopherol, could be developed as an anti-hair loss product. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Article
Curcuma amarissima Extract Activates Growth and Survival Signal Transduction Networks to Stimulate Proliferation of Human Keratinocyte
Biology 2021, 10(4), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10040289 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 719
Abstract
Many medicinal plants have been used to treat wounds. Here, we revealed the potential wound healing effects of Curcuma amarissima (CA). Our cell viability assay showed that CA extract increased the viability of HaCaT cells that were cultured in the absence of serum. [...] Read more.
Many medicinal plants have been used to treat wounds. Here, we revealed the potential wound healing effects of Curcuma amarissima (CA). Our cell viability assay showed that CA extract increased the viability of HaCaT cells that were cultured in the absence of serum. This increase in cell viability was proved to be associated with the pharmacological activities of CA extract in inducing cell proliferation. To further define possible molecular mechanisms of action, we performed Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence study, and our data demonstrated that CA extract rapidly induced ERK1/2 and Akt activation. Consistently, CA extract accelerated cell migration, resulting in rapid healing of wounded human keratinocyte monolayer. Specifically, the CA-induced increase of cell monolayer wound healing was blocked by the MEK inhibitor (U0126) or the PI3K inhibitor (LY294002). Moreover, CA extract induced the expression of Mcl-1, which is an anti-apoptotic protein, supporting that CA extract enhances human keratinocyte survival. Taken together, our study provided convincing evidence that Curcuma amarissima can promote proliferation and survival of human keratinocyte through stimulating the MAPK and PI3K/Akt signaling cascades. These promising data emphasize the possibility to develop this plant as a wound healing agent for the potential application in regenerative medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Article
Wound Healing Effects of Aloe muth-muth: In Vitro Investigations Using Immortalized Human Keratinocytes (HaCaT)
Biology 2020, 9(11), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9110350 - 23 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1088
Abstract
The traditional use of Aloe spp. for the purpose of wound healing has a long history and is widespread internationally. Recently, a hybrid aloe plant (Aloe muth-muth) has been cultivated by cross pollination between Aloe vera and Aloe ferox. The [...] Read more.
The traditional use of Aloe spp. for the purpose of wound healing has a long history and is widespread internationally. Recently, a hybrid aloe plant (Aloe muth-muth) has been cultivated by cross pollination between Aloe vera and Aloe ferox. The Aloe muth-muth plant has not yet been investigated for medicinal properties and provides an opportunity for potential biological activity, including wound healing. The aim of this study was to investigate the in vitro wound healing effects of both Aloe muth-muth gel and whole leaf material with the use of the immortalized human keratinocyte (HaCaT) cell line. Cell viability was conducted using methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) assays. In vitro wound healing was tested on HaCaT cells using an established scratch assay method. The effect of Aloe muth-muth gel material on HaCaT cell migration was also investigated. Aloe muth-muth gel material exhibited statistically significantly (p < 0.05) higher percentage wound closure compared to the control at all three concentrations investigated. These findings confirm that this newly cultivated species, Aloe muth-muth, also possesses wound healing activity corresponding to that reported for the two species it is derived from, namely, Aloe vera and Aloe ferox. Therefore, Aloe muth-muth has the potential to be used in future wound therapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Article
Ganoderma Lucidum from Red Mushroom Attenuates Formaldehyde-Induced Liver Damage in Experimental Male Rat Model
Biology 2020, 9(10), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9100313 - 27 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1245
Abstract
The majority of liver-related illnesses are caused by occupational and domestic exposure to toxic chemicals like formaldehyde (FA), which is widely common in Africa and the world at large. Hence, measures should be taken to protect humans from its hazardous effects. This study, [...] Read more.
The majority of liver-related illnesses are caused by occupational and domestic exposure to toxic chemicals like formaldehyde (FA), which is widely common in Africa and the world at large. Hence, measures should be taken to protect humans from its hazardous effects. This study, therefore, examines the protective potential of Ganoderma lucidum (100 mg/kg body weight) on formaldehyde-induced (40%) liver oxido-inflammation in male rats. Male Wistar rats, 150–200 g, were allotted into four groups of 10 animals as follows: Group 1 was orally treated with 1 mg/mL distilled water, Group 2 was exposed to a 40% formaldehyde vapor environment for 30 min per day, Group 3 was orally treated with 100 mg/kg ethanol extract of Ganoderma lucidum, and Group 4 was co-administered formaldehyde and 100 mg/kg ethanol extract of Ganoderma lucidum. Rats were then sacrificed 24 h after administering the last dose of treatment, and the livers were excised. Ganoderma lucidum significantly reversed the formaldehyde-mediated reduction in body and organ weight. Ganoderma lucidum administration significantly prevented oxido-inflammation by reducing the levels of hydrogen peroxide and malondialdehyde and increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes and glutathione contents, as well as the normal level of nitrite and myeloperoxidase production in FA-treated rats. Additionally, Ganoderma lucidum reversed a large decline in proinflammatory markers in formaldehyde. Furthermore, Ganoderma lucidum restores formaldehyde-induced histological alterations in the liver. Collectively, our results provide valuable information on the protective potential of Ganoderma lucidum in protecting formaldehyde-induced liver oxido-inflammation in male rats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Article
Piperine Regulates Nrf-2/Keap-1 Signalling and Exhibits Anticancer Effect in Experimental Colon Carcinogenesis in Wistar Rats
Biology 2020, 9(9), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9090302 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1281
Abstract
Colon cancer is the most common cancer in men and women globally, killing millions of people annually. Though there widespread development has been made in the management of colorectal cancer, still there is an urgent need to find novel targets for its effective [...] Read more.
Colon cancer is the most common cancer in men and women globally, killing millions of people annually. Though there widespread development has been made in the management of colorectal cancer, still there is an urgent need to find novel targets for its effective treatment. Piperine is an alkaloid found in black pepper having anticancer, anti-inflammatory activities, safe and nutritive for human consumption. Nuclear factor-erythroid 2–kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1(Nrf-2/Keap-1)/Heme-oxygenase1 (HO-1) signaling pathway plays a vital part in shielding cells from intracellular oxidative stress and inflammation. A potential cross-talk between the Nrf-2 and NF-κB pathways is recognized during cancerous growth and expansion. We studied this pathway extensively in the present study to discover novel targets in the prevention of chemically induced colon cancer with piperine to simulate human colon cancer pathology. Animals were divided into four groups. Groups1 and 2 were used as a negative control and positive control where 1,2–Dimethylhydrazine, DMH was administered in group 2, while group 3 and 4 were prevention groups where piperine at two different doses was given two weeks prior to DMH and continued until end of experiment. We found that piperine inhibited NF-κB by the activation of Nrf-2, blocking downstream inflammatory mediators/cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, Cox-2, PGE-2, iNOS, NO, MPO), triggering an antioxidant response machinery (HO-1, NQO-1, GSH, GR, GPx, CAT, SOD), scavenging ROS, and decreasing lipid peroxidation. Histological findings further validated our molecular findings. It also downregulates CEA, MDF and ACF, markers of precancerous lesions in colon, alleviates infiltration of mast cells and depletes the mucous layer. Our results indicate that piperine may be an effective molecule for the prophylactic treatment of colon carcinogenesis by targeting the NF-κB/Nrf-2/Keap-1/HO-1 pathway as a progressive strategy in the preclusion and effective treatment of colorectal cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Article
Cytotoxicity and Pro-Apoptotic, Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Geopropolis Produced by the Stingless Bee Melipona fasciculata Smith
Biology 2020, 9(9), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9090292 - 15 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1056
Abstract
Geopropolis is produced by some stingless bee species, such as Melipona fasciculata Smith, a native species from Brazil. This study aims to investigate the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities and cytotoxicity effects of geopropolis hydroethanolic extracts against lung (H460 and A549) and ovarian (A2780 [...] Read more.
Geopropolis is produced by some stingless bee species, such as Melipona fasciculata Smith, a native species from Brazil. This study aims to investigate the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities and cytotoxicity effects of geopropolis hydroethanolic extracts against lung (H460 and A549) and ovarian (A2780 and ES2) cancer cell lines and non-tumor (HUVEC) cell lines using chemical identification by LC/MS/MS analysis and in silico assays to determine which compounds are associated with bioactivity. The antioxidant activity of extracts and inhibitory activity against COX enzymes were assessed by in vitro assays; cytotoxicity effect was evaluated by the MTT assay; cell cycle was assessed by flow cytometry and apoptosis by Western blotting. The geopropolis extracts showed great radical scavenging potential, preferential inhibition of COX-2, decreased cancer cell viability, non-cytotoxic effects against the non-tumoral cell line, besides modulating the cell cycle and inducing cancer cell apoptosis through the activation of caspase-3 and PARP protein cleavage. The in silico study suggests that corilagin, typhaneoside, taraxerone and marsformosanone, identified by LC/MS/MS, can be associated with anti-inflammatory activity and cytotoxic effects. Thus, the current study suggests the potential of geopropolis concerning the research field of new pharmacological alternatives regarding cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Article
Antifungal Activity and Phytochemical Screening of Vernonia amygdalina Extract against Botrytis cinerea Causing Gray Mold Disease on Tomato Fruits
Biology 2020, 9(9), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9090286 - 11 Sep 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1304
Abstract
Gray mold disease caused by Botrytis cinerea is a damaging postharvest disease in tomato plants, and it is known to be a limiting factor in tomato production. This study aimed to evaluate antifungal activities of Vernonia amygdalina leaf extracts against B. cinerea and [...] Read more.
Gray mold disease caused by Botrytis cinerea is a damaging postharvest disease in tomato plants, and it is known to be a limiting factor in tomato production. This study aimed to evaluate antifungal activities of Vernonia amygdalina leaf extracts against B. cinerea and to screen the phytochemical compound in the crude extract that had the highest antifungal activity. In this study, crude extracts of hexane, dichloromethane, methanol, and water extracts with concentration levels at 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 mg/mL were shown to significantly affect the inhibition of B. cinerea. Among the crude extracts, dichloromethane extract was shown to be the most potent in terms of antifungal activities. The SEM observation proved that the treatment altered the fungal morphology, which leads to fungal growth inhibition. For the in vivo bioassay, the fruits treated with dichloromethane extract at 400 and 500 mg/mL showed the lowest disease incidence with mild severity of infection. There were 23 chemical compounds identified in V. amygdalina dichloromethane extract using GCMS analysis. The top five major compounds were dominated by squalene (16.92%), phytol (15.05%), triacontane (11.31%), heptacosane (7.14%), and neophytadiene (6.28%). Some of these significant compounds possess high antifungal activities. This study proved that V. amygdalina from dichloromethane extract could be useful for inhibiting gray mold disease on tomato fruit and has potential as a natural antifungal agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Article
The Phytochemical, Antifungal, and First Report of the Antiviral Properties of Egyptian Haplophyllum tuberculatum Extract
Biology 2020, 9(9), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9090248 - 25 Aug 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1248
Abstract
In this study, ethanol whole plant extract (WPE) of Haplophyllum tuberculatum was characterized and tested for its antifungal and antiviral activities against Fusarium culmorum, Rhizoctonia solani and tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed that the main phytochemical [...] Read more.
In this study, ethanol whole plant extract (WPE) of Haplophyllum tuberculatum was characterized and tested for its antifungal and antiviral activities against Fusarium culmorum, Rhizoctonia solani and tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed that the main phytochemical constituents of H. tuberculatum WPE were resveratrol (5178.58 mg/kg), kaempferol (1735.23 mg/kg), myricetin (561.18 mg/kg), rutin (487.04 mg/kg), quercetin (401.04 mg/kg), and rosmarinic acid (387.33 mg/kg). By increasing H. tuberculatum WPE at concentrations of 1%, 2%, and 3%, all of the fungal isolates were suppressed compared to the two positive and negative controls. Under greenhouse conditions, WPE-treated Chenopodium amaranticolor plants strongly inhibited TMV infection and significantly reduced TMV accumulation levels when compared to non-treated plants. Moreover, the induction of systemic resistance with significant increases in the transcriptional levels of the pathogenesis-related protein-1 (PR-1), chalcone synthase (CHS), and hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA quinate transferase (HQT) genes for treated plants were noticed at 3 and 5 days post-inoculation (dpi) for both assays. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported observation of the antiviral activity of H. tuberculatum extract against plant viral infections. Finally, the results obtained suggest that H. tuberculatum WPE can be considered a promising source of both antifungal and antiviral substances for practical use and for developing plant-derived compounds for the effective management of plant diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Article
Polyphenol Profile and Biological Activity Comparisons of Different Parts of Astragalus macrocephalus subsp. finitimus from Turkey
Biology 2020, 9(8), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9080231 - 17 Aug 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 955
Abstract
The members of the genus Astragalus have great interest as traditional drugs in several folk systems including Turkey. In this sense, the present paper was aimed to explore the biological properties and chemical profiles of different parts (aerial parts, leaves, flowers, stems, and [...] Read more.
The members of the genus Astragalus have great interest as traditional drugs in several folk systems including Turkey. In this sense, the present paper was aimed to explore the biological properties and chemical profiles of different parts (aerial parts, leaves, flowers, stems, and roots) of A. macrocephalus subsp. finitimus. Antioxidant (radical quenching, reducing power, and metal chelating) and enzyme inhibitory (α-amylase and tyrosinase) effects were investigated for biological properties. Regarding chemical profiles, individual phenolic compounds were detected by LC-MS, as well as total amounts. The leaves extract exhibited the strongest antioxidant abilities when compared with other parts. However, flowers extract had the best metal chelating ability. Hyperoside, apigenin, p-coumaric, and ferulic acids were identified as main compounds in the tested parts. Regarding enzyme inhibitory properties, tyrosinase inhibitory effects varied from IC50: 1.02 to 1.41 mg/mL. In addition, the best amylase inhibition effect was observed by leaves (3.36 mg/mL), followed by aerial parts, roots, stems, and flowers. As a result, from multivariate analysis, the tested parts were classified in three cluster. Summing up the results, it can be concluded that A. macrocephalus subsp. finitimus could be a precious source of natural bioactive agents in pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and cosmeceutical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Article
Salvia Spp. Essential Oils against the Arboviruses Vector Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae): Bioactivity, Composition, and Sensorial Profile—Stage 1
Biology 2020, 9(8), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9080206 - 04 Aug 2020
Viewed by 917
Abstract
Mosquito-borne arboviruses diseases cause a substantial public health burden within their expanding range. To date, their control relies on synthetic insecticides and repellents aimed to control the competent mosquito vectors. However, their use is hampered by their high economic, environmental, and human health [...] Read more.
Mosquito-borne arboviruses diseases cause a substantial public health burden within their expanding range. To date, their control relies on synthetic insecticides and repellents aimed to control the competent mosquito vectors. However, their use is hampered by their high economic, environmental, and human health impacts. Natural products may represent a valid eco-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides to control mosquitoes, and mosquito-borne parasitic diseases. The aim of this work was to combine the chemical and sensorial profiles with the bioactivity data of Salvia spp. essential oils (EOs) to select the most suitable EO to be used as a repellent and insecticide against the invasive mosquito Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae), vector of pathogens and parasites, and to describe the EOs smell profile. To do this, the EOs of four Salvia species, namely S. dolomitica, S. dorisiana, S. sclarea, and S. somalensis were extracted, chemically analyzed and tested for their bioactivity as larvicides and repellents against Ae. albopictus. Then, the smell profiles of the EOs were described by a panel of assessors. The LC50 of the EOs ranged from 71.08 to 559.77 μL L−1 for S. dorisiana and S. sclarea, respectively. S. sclarea EO showed the highest repellence among the tested EOs against Ae. albopictus females (RD95 = 12.65 nL cm−2), while the most long-lasting, at the dose of 20 nL cm−2, was S. dorisiana (Complete Protection Time = 43.28 ± 3.43 min). S. sclarea EO showed the best smell profile, while S. dolomitica EO the worst one with a high number of off-flavors. Overall, all the EOs, with the exception of the S. dolomitica one, were indicated as suitable for “environmental protection”, while S. dorisiana and S. sclarea were indicated as suitable also for “Body care”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Cytotoxic, Antioxidant, and Enzyme Inhibitory Properties of the Traditional Medicinal Plant Matthiola incana (L.) R. Br.
Biology 2020, 9(7), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9070163 - 13 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1462
Abstract
Matthiola incana (L.) R. Br. (Brassicaceae) is widely cultivated for ornamental purposes and utilized as a medicinal plant. In the present work, the hydroalcoholic extract from the aerial parts of this species has been evaluated in different bioassays in order to detect potential [...] Read more.
Matthiola incana (L.) R. Br. (Brassicaceae) is widely cultivated for ornamental purposes and utilized as a medicinal plant. In the present work, the hydroalcoholic extract from the aerial parts of this species has been evaluated in different bioassays in order to detect potential pharmacological applications. The cytotoxic capacity against the human colorectal adenocarcinoma (CaCo-2) and breast cancer (MCF-7) cell lines was tested using the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay. The extract was investigated as a neuroprotective inhibitor of central nervous system (CNS) enzymes such as monoamine oxidase A, tyrosinase, acetylcholinesterase, and as a natural enzyme inhibitor of α-glucosidase and lipase involved in some metabolic disorders such as obesity or type 2 diabetes. The antioxidant ability was also evaluated in an enzymatic system (xanthine/xanthine oxidase assay). Results showed that the M. incana extract displayed moderate to low cytotoxicity vs. CaCo-2 cells. The extract acted as a superoxide radical scavenger and enzymatic inhibitor of monoamine oxidase A, tyrosinase, α-glucosidase, and lipase. The best results were found in the α-glucosidase assay, as M. incana hydroalcoholic extract was able to inhibit the enzyme α-glucosidase up to 100% without significant differences, compared to the antidiabetic drug acarbose. Matthiola incana has been demonstrated to exert different biological properties. These are important in order to consider this species as a source of bioactive compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Review

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Review
Searching for Scientific Explanations for the Uses of Spanish Folk Medicine: A Review on the Case of Mullein (Verbascum, Scrophulariaceae)
Biology 2021, 10(7), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070618 - 02 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1125
Abstract
Verbascum species (common mullein) have been widely used in Spanish folk medicine to treat pathologies related to the musculature, skeleton, and circulatory, digestive, and respiratory systems, as well as to treat infectious diseases and organ-sense illnesses. These applications support the potential anti-inflammatory action [...] Read more.
Verbascum species (common mullein) have been widely used in Spanish folk medicine to treat pathologies related to the musculature, skeleton, and circulatory, digestive, and respiratory systems, as well as to treat infectious diseases and organ-sense illnesses. These applications support the potential anti-inflammatory action of Verbascum phytochemicals. Based on the aforementioned facts, and following a deep bibliographic review of the chemical composition of the 10 species of Verbascum catalogued by the Spanish Inventory of Traditional Knowledge related to Biodiversity, we look for scientific evidences to correlate the traditional medical uses with the chemical components of these plants. To support these findings, in silico simulations were performed to investigate molecular interactions between Verbascum phytochemicals and cellular components. Most of common mullein traditional uses could rely on the anti-inflammatory action of phytochemicals, such as quercetin, and it could explain the employment of these plants to treat a wide range of diseases mediated by inflammatory processes such as respiratory diseases, otitis, arthrosis, and rheumatism among others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Review
Effects of Propolis on Infectious Diseases of Medical Relevance
Biology 2021, 10(5), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050428 - 12 May 2021
Viewed by 1842
Abstract
Infectious diseases are a significant problem affecting the public health and economic stability of societies all over the world. Treatment is available for most of these diseases; however, many pathogens have developed resistance to drugs, necessitating the development of new therapies with chemical [...] Read more.
Infectious diseases are a significant problem affecting the public health and economic stability of societies all over the world. Treatment is available for most of these diseases; however, many pathogens have developed resistance to drugs, necessitating the development of new therapies with chemical agents, which can have serious side effects and high toxicity. In addition, the severity and aggressiveness of emerging and re-emerging diseases, such as pandemics caused by viral agents, have led to the priority of investigating new therapies to complement the treatment of different infectious diseases. Alternative and complementary medicine is widely used throughout the world due to its low cost and easy access and has been shown to provide a wide repertoire of options for the treatment of various conditions. In this work, we address the relevance of the effects of propolis on the causal pathogens of the main infectious diseases with medical relevance; the existing compiled information shows that propolis has effects on Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, fungi, protozoan parasites and helminths, and viruses; however, challenges remain, such as the assessment of their effects in clinical studies for adequate and safe use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Review
Beneficial Role of Carica papaya Extracts and Phytochemicals on Oxidative Stress and Related Diseases: A Mini Review
Biology 2021, 10(4), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10040287 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1287
Abstract
Oxidative stress is a result of disruption in the balance between antioxidants and pro-oxidants in which subsequently impacting on redox signaling, causing cell and tissue damages. It leads to a range of medical conditions including inflammation, skin aging, impaired wound healing, chronic diseases [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress is a result of disruption in the balance between antioxidants and pro-oxidants in which subsequently impacting on redox signaling, causing cell and tissue damages. It leads to a range of medical conditions including inflammation, skin aging, impaired wound healing, chronic diseases and cancers but these conditions can be managed properly with the aid of antioxidants. This review features various studies to provide an overview on how Carica papaya help counteract oxidative stress via various mechanisms of action closely related to its antioxidant properties and eventually improving the management of various oxidative stress-related health conditions. Carica papaya is a topical plant species discovered to contain high amounts of natural antioxidants that can usually be found in their leaves, fruits and seeds. It contains various chemical compounds demonstrate significant antioxidant properties including caffeic acid, myricetin, rutin, quercetin, α-tocopherol, papain, benzyl isothiocyanate (BiTC), and kaempferol. Therefore, it can counteract pro-oxidants via a number of signaling pathways that either promote the expression of antioxidant enzymes or reduce ROS production. These signaling pathways activate the antioxidant defense mechanisms that protect the body against both intrinsic and extrinsic oxidative stress. To conclude, Carica papaya can be incorporated into medications or supplements to help manage the health conditions driven by oxidative stress and further studies are needed to investigate the potential of its chemical components to manage various chronic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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Review
A Descriptive Overview of the Medical Uses Given to Mentha Aromatic Herbs throughout History
Biology 2020, 9(12), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9120484 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1029
Abstract
Mints have been among the most widely used herbs for medicinal purposes since ancient civilizations. They are still presently used for numerous purposes, including non-medicinal, which makes them economically relevant herbs. Information regarding the medical and scientific uses given to mints throughout history [...] Read more.
Mints have been among the most widely used herbs for medicinal purposes since ancient civilizations. They are still presently used for numerous purposes, including non-medicinal, which makes them economically relevant herbs. Information regarding the medical and scientific uses given to mints throughout history are vastly scattered and/or incomplete. The aim of this paper is to provide an extensive descriptive overview of the medical uses given to these herbs, highlighting both the authors in medical culture responsible for their dissemination, as well as their major galenic formulations. Databases on medical science, reference textbooks on medical history, botanics (aromatic herbs), and pharmacognosy were consulted. The use of mints remotes to Classical Antiquity, with major contributions from Pliny the Elder. In the Middle Ages, the increased knowledge surrounding mints came from Byzantine physicians, while, in the Modern Age, technological developments allowed the production of mint-based products which have become part of elaborate galenic formulas employed by an increasing number of physicians, as well as have also stimulated both scientific and artistic interests alike. In present-day medicine, several mints and mint-based products are being researched as potential therapeutic alternatives for many diseases, while also being vastly employed in food and cosmetic industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
Review
Botanical Products in the Treatment and Control of Schistosomiasis: Recent Studies and Distribution of Active Plant Resources According to Affected Regions
Biology 2020, 9(8), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9080223 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1034
Abstract
Schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease caused by trematodes of the genus Schistosoma, is the second most prevalent parasitic disease in the world. It affects around 200 million people. Clinical treatment, prophylaxis, and prevention are performed in countries susceptible to schistosomiasis. In the pharmacological [...] Read more.
Schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease caused by trematodes of the genus Schistosoma, is the second most prevalent parasitic disease in the world. It affects around 200 million people. Clinical treatment, prophylaxis, and prevention are performed in countries susceptible to schistosomiasis. In the pharmacological treatment for an acute form of schistosomiasis, the use of antiparasitics, mainly praziquantel, is more common. As an alternative way, prevention methods such as reducing the population of intermediate hosts (mollusks) with molluscicides are important in the control of this disease by interrupting the biological cycle of this etiological parasite. Despite the importance of pharmacological agents and molluscicides, they have side effects and environmental toxicity. In addition, they can lead to the development of resistance enhancing of parasites, and lead to the search for new and effective drugs, including resources of vegetal origin, which in turn, are abundant in the affected countries. Thus, the purpose of this review is to summarize recent studies on botanical products with potential for the control of schistosomiasis, including anti-Schistosoma and molluscicide activities. In addition, species and plant derivatives according to their origin or geographical importance indicating a possible utility of local resources for countries most affected by the disease are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
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