Special Issue "Medicinal Plants 2020"

A special issue of Pharmaceuticals (ISSN 1424-8247). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Daniela De Vita
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
Interests: medicinal plants; phytochemistry; antifungal agents; antiparasitic agents

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

Since ancient times, humans have been using plants for body care and health. The well-established use of medicinal plants is attributed to the Sumerians, even though archaeological studies have traced their use back to 60,000 years ago. Over the past century, the large production of synthetic drugs has obscured the benefits of natural sources in most of the western world. In the recent years, the “renaissance” of herbal sources has occurred drawing the attention of the scientific community; therefore, pharmaceutical research is moving towards the scientific validation of medicinal plants from all over the world. Authors are invited to submit original research articles, reviews, and short communications exploring recent advances in this field ranging from basic science to clinical studies. Topics include but are not limited to, innovative analytical method for the determination of phytochemical constituents, in vitro and in vivo evaluation of the activities, formulations of herbal extracts.

Dr. Daniela De Vita
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Keywords

  • medicinal plants
  • traditional medicine
  • phytotherapy
  • phytochemicals

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Efficacy of Panax ginseng Meyer Herbal Preparation HRG80 in Preventing and Mitigating Stress-Induced Failure of Cognitive Functions in Healthy Subjects: A Pilot, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Trial
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(4), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13040057 (registering DOI) - 29 Mar 2020
Abstract
Background: The aim of this pilot study was to compare the efficacy of hydroponically cultivated red Panax ginseng Meyer root preparation (HRG80) and traditionally harvested six-year-old white P. ginseng standard preparation (PGS) with placebo in preventing symptoms of stress. Methods: The effects of [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this pilot study was to compare the efficacy of hydroponically cultivated red Panax ginseng Meyer root preparation (HRG80) and traditionally harvested six-year-old white P. ginseng standard preparation (PGS) with placebo in preventing symptoms of stress. Methods: The effects of HRG80, PGS, and placebo capsules were studied in 50 tired healthy subjects in a three-arm, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled crossover trial. Efficacy-outcome measures included the accuracy of processing the d2 test for cognitive functions, obtained accuracy score in a computerized memory test, and the perceived-stress (PS) score. Results: A statistically significant interaction effect between time and treatment (p < 0.0001) was observed in the attention d2 and memory tests, indicating that HRG80 treatment was more beneficial than that with a placebo. The effects of PGS were better than those of the placebo, but the difference was not statistically significant. There was significant difference between the effects of HRG80 and PGS (p < 0.0001) that were observed after single (Day 1) and repeated administrations on Days 5 and 12 of treatment. Conclusion: Overall, HRG80 treatment was significantly superior compared to that with the PGS and placebo regarding attention, memory, and PS scores after single and repeated administrations for 5 and 12 days. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
Open AccessArticle
Selection of Thai Medicinal Plants with Anti-Obesogenic Potential via In Vitro Methods
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(4), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13040056 (registering DOI) - 29 Mar 2020
Abstract
The prevalence of obesity is increasing globally. Despite the availability of a variety of anti-obesogenic drugs, including therapies under clinical development, these treatments are often indicated for patients with severe obesity, making them unsuitable for patients with mild obesity or for preventative use. [...] Read more.
The prevalence of obesity is increasing globally. Despite the availability of a variety of anti-obesogenic drugs, including therapies under clinical development, these treatments are often indicated for patients with severe obesity, making them unsuitable for patients with mild obesity or for preventative use. In Thailand, traditional remedies employing medicinal plants are widely used to maintain health and treat disease. These treatments are generally inexpensive and readily available at markets, making them good treatment options for preventing obesity. To evaluate the anti-obesogenic potential of Thai medicinal plants, we employed three in vitro methods: pancreatic lipase inhibition, lipolysis enhancement, and lipid accumulation reduction assays. Among 70 Thai medicinal plants, Eurycoma longifolia Jack, Tiliacora triandra Diels, and Acacia concinna (Willd.) DC. were selected as the most favorable candidates because they exhibited anti-obesogenic activity in all three assays. These medicinal plants are expected to have efficient anti-obesogenic effects, making them promising candidates for further study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory Activities and Polyphenol Profile of Rhamnus prinoides
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(4), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13040055 (registering DOI) - 26 Mar 2020
Abstract
Rhamnus prinoides L’Herit (R. prinoides) has long been widely consumed as folk medicine in Kenya and other Africa countries. Previous studies indicated that polyphenols were abundant in genus Rhamnus and exhibited outstanding antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. However, there are very few [...] Read more.
Rhamnus prinoides L’Herit (R. prinoides) has long been widely consumed as folk medicine in Kenya and other Africa countries. Previous studies indicated that polyphenols were abundant in genus Rhamnus and exhibited outstanding antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. However, there are very few studies on such pharmacological activities and the polyphenol profile of this plant up to now. In the present study, the antioxidant activities of the crude R. prinoides extracts (CRE) and the semi-purified R. prinoides extracts (SPRE) of polyphenol enriched fractions were evaluated to show the strong radical scavenging effects against 1,1-diphenyl-2- picrylhydrazyl radical 2,2-diphenyl-1-(2,4,6-trinitrophenyl) hydrazyl (DPPH) (0.510 ± 0.046 and 0.204 ± 0.005, mg/mL), and 2,2′-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) (0.596 ± 0.005 and 0.096 ± 0.004, mg/mL), respectively. Later, the SPRE with higher contents of polyphenols and flavonoids displayed obvious anti-inflammatory activities through reducing the NO production at the dosage of 11.11 − 100 μg/mL, and the COX-2 inhibitory activity with an IC50 value at 20.61 ± 0.13 μg/mL. Meanwhile, the HPLC-UV/ESI-MS/MS analysis of polyphenol profile of R. prinoides revealed that flavonoids and their glycosides were the major ingredients, and potentially responsible for its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. For the first time, the present study comprehensively demonstrated the chemical profile of R. prinoides, as well as noteworthy antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, which confirmed that R. prinoides is a good natural source of polyphenols and flavonoids, and provided valuable information on this medicinal plant as folk medicine and with good potential for future healthcare practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Unveiling Pharmacological Responses and Potential Targets Insights of Identified Bioactive Constituents of Cuscuta reflexa Roxb. Leaves through In Vivo and In Silico Approaches
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13030050 (registering DOI) - 20 Mar 2020
Abstract
Cuscuta reflexa Roxb. is traditionally used by the indigenous communities of Bangladesh to treat different diseases, such as pain, edema, tumor, jaundice, and skin infections. This study tested neuro-pharmacological, anti-nociceptive, and antidiarrheal activities by in vivo and in silico experiments for the metabolites [...] Read more.
Cuscuta reflexa Roxb. is traditionally used by the indigenous communities of Bangladesh to treat different diseases, such as pain, edema, tumor, jaundice, and skin infections. This study tested neuro-pharmacological, anti-nociceptive, and antidiarrheal activities by in vivo and in silico experiments for the metabolites extracted (methanol) from the leaves of Cuscuta reflexa (MECR). During the anxiolytic evaluation analyzed by elevated plus maze and hole board tests, MECR (200 and 400 mg/kg) exhibited a significant dose-dependent reduction of anxiety-like behavior in mice. Similarly, mice treated with MECR demonstrated a dose-dependent decrease in the time of immobility in both forced swimming and tail suspension tests. In addition, anti-nociceptive activity was assessed by the chemical-induced (acetic acid and formalin) pain models. In both cases, 400 mg/kg was found to be most effective and significantly (p < 0.001) inhibited acetic acid stimulated writhing and formalin-induced licking (pain response) in mice. Furthermore, antidiarrheal efficacy determined by the castor-oil induced diarrheal model manifested an evident inhibition of diarrheal stool frequency. In parallel, previously isolated bioactive compounds were documented based on the biological activities and subjected to in silico studies to correlate with the current pharmacological outcomes. The selected isolated compounds (15) displayed favorable binding affinities to potassium channels, human serotonin receptor, COX-1, COX-2, M3 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor, and 5-HT3 receptor proteins. Additionally, the ADME/T and toxicological properties were justified to unveil their drug-like properties and toxicity level. Overall, Cuscuta reflexa is bioactive and could be a potential source for the development of alternative medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of an Adaptogenic Extract on Electrical Activity of the Brain in Elderly Subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Two-Armed Cross-Over Study
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13030045 - 14 Mar 2020
Abstract
Background: The current and potential uses of adaptogens are mainly related to treatment of stress-induced fatigue, impaired cognitive function, mental illness, and behavioral- and age-related disorders. However, clinical evidence regarding the efficacy of adaptogens is limited. The primary aim of this study is [...] Read more.
Background: The current and potential uses of adaptogens are mainly related to treatment of stress-induced fatigue, impaired cognitive function, mental illness, and behavioral- and age-related disorders. However, clinical evidence regarding the efficacy of adaptogens is limited. The primary aim of this study is to determine whether a combination of adaptogenic plant extracts from Andrographis paniculata and Withania somnifera (Adaptra® Forte) could be used as effective and safe treatment for impaired cognitive, memory, or learning ability functions and sleep disorders. Methods: The changes in electroencephalogram (EEG) frequency ranges in 17 different brain regions, psychometric tests of cognitive performance, as well as standard questionnaires of assessment of mood and sleep were measured after single and repeated administration of Adaptra® or placebo for four weeks and after a two-week treatment-free follow-up period within a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled two-armed cross-over study. Results: Adaptra® Forte significantly improved cognitive performance in the d2-Test for attention and the concentration performance test after four weeks’ treatment, and was positively correlated with increases in δ and θ power in the quantitative EEG compared with placebo during cognitive challenges. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that Adaptra® Forte exhibits a calming and anxiolytic effect without sedation, and is associated with overall stress-protective activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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