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: closed (31 January 2021).

Special Issue Editor

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

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

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Keywords

  • medicinal plants
  • traditional medicine
  • phytotherapy
  • phytochemicals

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Published Papers (26 papers)

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Research

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Article
Investigation of Commiphora myrrha (Nees) Engl. Oil and Its Main Components for Antiviral Activity
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(3), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14030243 - 09 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 724
Abstract
The resinous exudate produced by Commiphora myrrha (Nees) Engl. is commonly known as true myrrh and has been used since antiquity for several medicinal applications. Hundreds of metabolites have been identified in the volatile component of myrrh so far, mainly sesquiterpenes. Although several [...] Read more.
The resinous exudate produced by Commiphora myrrha (Nees) Engl. is commonly known as true myrrh and has been used since antiquity for several medicinal applications. Hundreds of metabolites have been identified in the volatile component of myrrh so far, mainly sesquiterpenes. Although several efforts have been devoted to identifying these sesquiterpenes, the phytochemical analyses have been performed by gas-chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC–MS) where the high temperature employed can promote degradation of the components. In this work, we report the extraction of C. myrrha by supercritical CO2, an extraction method known for the mild extraction conditions that allow avoiding undesired chemical reactions during the process. In addition, the analyses of myrrh oil and of its metabolites were performed by HPLC and GC–MS. Moreover, we evaluated the antiviral activity against influenza A virus of the myrrh extracts, that was possible to appreciate after the addition of vitamin E acetate (α-tocopheryl acetate) to the extract. Further, the single main bioactive components of the oil of C. myrrha commercially available were tested. Interestingly, we found that both furanodienone and curzerene affect viral replication by acting on different steps of the virus life cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Article
Effect of the Oral Administration of Common Evening Primrose Sprout (Oenothera biennis L.) Extract on Skin Function Improvement in UVB-irradiated Hairless Mice
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(3), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14030222 - 06 Mar 2021
Viewed by 469
Abstract
Most of the studies on common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis L.) are focused on its oils (isolated from seed, root, and stem tissues). We aimed to investigate the effect of the oral administration of OBS-E on the improvement of skin function in [...] Read more.
Most of the studies on common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis L.) are focused on its oils (isolated from seed, root, and stem tissues). We aimed to investigate the effect of the oral administration of OBS-E on the improvement of skin function in skin-damaged hairless mice exposed to excessive ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation owing to the preliminary in vitro findings regarding the antioxidant, anti-wrinkle, and skin moisturizing activities of OBS-E. OBS-E administration for 14 weeks did not significantly affect the body weight or clinical signs. Significant reductions were observed in wrinkle parameters (area, number, length, and depth, and metalloproteinase levels) in OBS-E-administered mice compared with those in UVB-irradiated control mice. OBS-E significantly increased skin elasticity and hyaluronic acid content, but it significantly decreased transepidermal water loss. Histomorphometrical analysis revealed that OBS-E significantly reduced the epidermal thickness, area of the collagen-occupied region, and number of microfolds and inflammatory and mast cells. These results demonstrate that OBS-E can effectively enhance skin functions in terms of ameliorating wrinkle formation, promoting skin-moisturization, enhancing skin barrier function, and inhibiting inflammatory reactions. The obtained results provide good starting point for the continuation in the process of developing new inner beauty products based on OBS-E. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Article
Herbal-Based Formulation Containing Eurycoma longifolia and Labisia pumila Aqueous Extracts: Safe for Consumption?
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(2), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14020142 - 10 Feb 2021
Viewed by 556
Abstract
A combined polyherbal formulation containing tongkat ali (Eurycoma longifolia) and kacip fatimah (Labisia pumila) aqueous extracts was evaluated for its safety aspect. A repeated dose 28-day toxicity study using Wistar rats was conducted where the polyherbal formulation was administered [...] Read more.
A combined polyherbal formulation containing tongkat ali (Eurycoma longifolia) and kacip fatimah (Labisia pumila) aqueous extracts was evaluated for its safety aspect. A repeated dose 28-day toxicity study using Wistar rats was conducted where the polyherbal formulation was administered at doses 125, 500 and 2000 mg/kg body weight to male and female treatment groups daily via oral gavage, with rats receiving only water as the control group. In-life parameters measured include monitoring of food and water consumption and clinical and functional observations. On day 29, blood was collected for haematological and biochemical analysis. The rats were necropsied and the organs were collected for histopathological examination. This study showed that the combined formulation did not induce any significant toxicity effect at any dose level in terms of morbidity, mortality, behaviour, functional observation, body weight, food and water consumption, whole blood haematology and serum biochemistry. However, there were some microscopic changes in the histopathological examinations of some organs given 2000 mg/kg body weight, which may suggest an early response to the polyherbal formulation. From this study, the no observed adverse effect level is estimated to be more than 500 mg/kg body weight but not exceeding 2000 mg/kg body weight. The observed effects at the highest dose indicate the need for further study of longer dosing duration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Article
Extracts of the Tiger Milk Mushroom (Lignosus rhinocerus) Enhance Stress Resistance and Extend Lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans via the DAF-16/FoxO Signaling Pathway
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(2), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14020093 - 27 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 878
Abstract
The tiger milk mushroom, Lignosus rhinocerus (LR), exhibits antioxidant properties, as shown in a few in vitro experiments. The aim of this research was to study whether three LR extracts exhibit antioxidant activities in Caenorhabditis elegans. In wild-type N2 nematodes, we determined [...] Read more.
The tiger milk mushroom, Lignosus rhinocerus (LR), exhibits antioxidant properties, as shown in a few in vitro experiments. The aim of this research was to study whether three LR extracts exhibit antioxidant activities in Caenorhabditis elegans. In wild-type N2 nematodes, we determined the survival rate under oxidative stress caused by increased intracellular ROS concentrations. Transgenic strains, including TJ356, TJ375, CF1553, CL2166, and LD1, were used to detect the expression of DAF-16, HSP-16.2, SOD-3, GST-4, and SKN-1, respectively. Lifespan, lipofuscin, and pharyngeal pumping rates were assessed. Three LR extracts (ethanol, and cold and hot water) protected the worms from oxidative stress and decreased intracellular ROS. The extracts exhibited antioxidant properties through the DAF-16/FOXO pathway, leading to SOD-3 and HSP-16.2 modification. However, the expression of SKN-1 and GST-4 was not changed. All the extracts extended the lifespan. They also reduced lipofuscin (a marker for aging) and influenced the pharyngeal pumping rate (another marker for aging). The extracts did not cause dietary restriction. This novel study provides evidence of the functional antioxidant and anti-aging properties of LR. Further studies must confirm that they are suitable for use as antioxidant supplements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Article
Comparison of Chemical Composition and Biological Activities of Eight Selaginella Species
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14010016 - 26 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 943
Abstract
Selaginella P. Beauv. is a group of vascular plants in the family Selaginellaceae Willk., found worldwide and numbering more than 700 species, with some used as foods and medicines. The aim of this paper was to compare methanolic (MeOH) and dichloromethane (DCM) extracts [...] Read more.
Selaginella P. Beauv. is a group of vascular plants in the family Selaginellaceae Willk., found worldwide and numbering more than 700 species, with some used as foods and medicines. The aim of this paper was to compare methanolic (MeOH) and dichloromethane (DCM) extracts of eight Selaginella species on the basis of their composition and biological activities. Six of these Selaginella species are underinvestigated. Using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography–high-resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC–HRMS) analysis, we identified a total of 193 compounds among the tested Selaginella species, with flavonoids predominating. MeOH extracts recovered more constituents that were detected, including selaginellins, the occurrence of which is only typical for this plant genus. Of all the tested species, Selaginellaapoda contained the highest number of identified selaginellins. The majority of the compounds were identified in S. apoda, the fewest compounds in Selaginellacupressina. All the tested species demonstrated antioxidant activity using oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC) assay, which showed that MeOH extracts had higher antioxidant capacity, with the half maximal effective concentration (EC50) ranging from 12 ± 1 (Selaginellamyosuroides) to 124 ± 2 (Selaginellacupressina) mg/L. The antioxidant capacity was presumed to be correlated with the content of flavonoids, (neo)lignans, and selaginellins. Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) was mostly discerned in DCM extracts and was only exhibited in S. myosuroides, S. cupressina, Selaginellabiformis, and S. apoda extracts with the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) in the range of 19 ± 3 to 62 ± 1 mg/L. Substantial cytotoxicity against cancer cell lines was demonstrated by the MeOH extract of S. apoda, where the ratio of the IC50 HEK (human embryonic kidney) to IC50 HepG2 (hepatocellular carcinoma) was 7.9 ± 0.2. MeOH extracts inhibited the production of nitrate oxide and cytokines in a dose-dependent manner. Notably, S. biformis halved the production of NO, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and interleukin (IL)-6 at the following concentrations: 105 ± 9, 11 ± 1, and 10 ± 1 mg/L, respectively. Our data confirmed that extracts from Selaginella species exhibited cytotoxicity against cancer cell lines and AChE inhibition. The activity observed in S. apoda was the most promising and is worth further exploration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Article
Attenuation of Anxiety-Like Behavior by Helichrysum stoechas (L.) Moench Methanolic Extract through Up-Regulation of ERK Signaling Pathways in Noradrenergic Neurons
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(12), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13120472 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1182
Abstract
The long-term use of anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs can cause a plethora of side effects and the use of complementary and alternative medicine, which is generally considered safer than conventional medicine, is consistently increasing. Helichrysum stoechas (L.) Moench methanolic extract (HSE) has shown [...] Read more.
The long-term use of anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs can cause a plethora of side effects and the use of complementary and alternative medicine, which is generally considered safer than conventional medicine, is consistently increasing. Helichrysum stoechas (L.) Moench methanolic extract (HSE) has shown MAO-A inhibitory properties in previous studies. With the aim of obtaining innovative and safer therapies for mood disorders, this study investigated the potential activity of HSE in the management of anxiety- and depression-related symptoms. HSE showed dose-dependent (30–100 mg/kg p.o.) anxiolytic-like activity in the light dark box and marble burying tests, without any antidepressant-like activity, as shown by the results of the tail suspension test. Additionally, HSE did not have any effect on the modulation of pain, which highlights its selectivity in the control of anxiety-related behavior. At active doses, HSE did not produce any sedative effect or result in impaired motor coordination and memory functions. Western blotting experiments showed the ability of HSE to counteract the reduction in the phosphorylation of ERK44/42, to restore brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression and to return cyclic AMP response element binding (CREB) levels to basal levels in noradrenergic hippocampal neurons of mice exposed to an anxiety-related environment, which indicates a protective role against anxiety behavior. These results suggest that oral administration of HSE might represent an interesting opportunity for the management of anxiety disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Article
Germinated Soybean Embryo Extract Ameliorates Fatty Liver Injury in High-Fat Diet-Fed Obese Mice
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(11), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13110380 - 11 Nov 2020
Viewed by 670
Abstract
Soybean is known to have diverse beneficial effects against human diseases, including obesity and its related metabolic disorders. Germinated soybean embryos are enriched with bioactive phytochemicals and known to inhibit diet-induced obesity in mice, but their effect on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) [...] Read more.
Soybean is known to have diverse beneficial effects against human diseases, including obesity and its related metabolic disorders. Germinated soybean embryos are enriched with bioactive phytochemicals and known to inhibit diet-induced obesity in mice, but their effect on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) remains unknown. Here, we germinated soybean embryos for 24 h, and their ethanolic extract (GSEE, 15 and 45 mg/kg) was administered daily to mice fed with a high-fat diet (HFD) for 10 weeks. HFD significantly increased the weight of the body, liver and adipose tissue, as well as serum lipid markers, but soyasaponin Ab-rich GSEE alleviated these changes. Hepatic injury and triglyceride accumulation in HFD-fed mice were attenuated by GSEE via decreased lipid synthesis (SREBP1c) and increased fatty acid oxidation (p-AMPKα, PPARα, PGC1α, and ACOX) and lipid export (MTTP and ApoB). HFD-induced inflammation (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, CD14, F4/80, iNOS, and COX2) was normalized by GSEE in mice livers. In adipose tissue, GSEE downregulated white adipose tissue (WAT) differentiation and lipogenesis (PPARγ, C/EBPα, and FAS) and induced browning genes (PGC1α, PRDM16, CIDEA, and UCP1), which could also beneficially affect the liver via lowering adipose tissue-related circulating lipid levels. Thus, our results suggest that GSEE can prevent HFD-induced NAFLD via inhibition of hepatic inflammation and restoration of lipid metabolisms in both liver and adipose tissue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Article
Citrus hystrix Extracts Protect Human Neuronal Cells against High Glucose-Induced Senescence
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(10), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13100283 - 30 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1358
Abstract
Citrus hystrix (CH) is a beneficial plant utilized in traditional folk medicine to relieve various health ailments. The antisenescent mechanisms of CH extracts were investigated using human neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y). Phytochemical contents and antioxidant activities of CH extracts were analyzed using a gas [...] Read more.
Citrus hystrix (CH) is a beneficial plant utilized in traditional folk medicine to relieve various health ailments. The antisenescent mechanisms of CH extracts were investigated using human neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y). Phytochemical contents and antioxidant activities of CH extracts were analyzed using a gas chromatograph–mass spectrometer (GC-MS), 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl-hydrate (DPPH) assay and 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) assay. Effects of CH extracts on high glucose-induced cytotoxicity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, cell cycle arrest and cell cycle-associated proteins were assessed using a 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide tetrazolium (MTT) assay, non-fluorescent 2′, 7′-dichloro-dihydrofluorescein diacetate (H2DCFDA) assay, flow cytometer and Western blot. The extracts protected neuronal senescence by inhibiting ROS generation. CH extracts induced cell cycle progression by releasing senescent cells from the G1 phase arrest. As the Western blot confirmed, the mechanism involved in cell cycle progression was associated with the downregulation of cyclin D1, phospho-cell division cycle 2 (pcdc2) and phospho-Retinoblastoma (pRb) proteins. Furthermore, the Western blot showed that extracts increased Surtuin 1 (SIRT1) expression by increasing the phosphorylation of Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). Collectively, CH extracts could protect high glucose-induced human neuronal senescence by inducing cell cycle progression and up-regulation of SIRT1, thus leading to the improvement of the neuronal cell functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Article
Biological Evaluation, DFT Calculations and Molecular Docking Studies on the Antidepressant and Cytotoxicity Activities of Cycas pectinata Buch.-Ham. Compounds
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(9), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13090232 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1753
Abstract
Cycas pectinata Buch.-Ham. is commonly used in folk medicine against various disorders. The present study investigated the antidepressant and cytotoxicity activity of methanol extract of C. pectinata (MECP) along with quantitative phytochemical analysis by GC-MS method. Here, the GC-MS study of MECP presented [...] Read more.
Cycas pectinata Buch.-Ham. is commonly used in folk medicine against various disorders. The present study investigated the antidepressant and cytotoxicity activity of methanol extract of C. pectinata (MECP) along with quantitative phytochemical analysis by GC-MS method. Here, the GC-MS study of MECP presented 41 compounds, among which most were fatty acids, esters, terpenoids and oximes. The antidepressant activity was assessed by the forced swimming test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST) models. In contrast, MECP (200 and 400 mg/kg) exhibited a significant and dose-dependent manner reduction in immobility comparable with fluoxetine (10 mg/kg) and phenelzine (20 mg/kg). MECP showed a weak toxicity level in the brine shrimp lethality bioassay (ED50: 358.65 µg/mL) comparable to the standard drug vincristine sulfate (ED50: 2.39 µg/mL). Three compounds from the GC-MS study were subjected to density functional theory (DFT) calculations, where only cyclopentadecanone oxime showed positive and negative active binding sites. Cyclopentadecanone oxime also showed a good binding interaction in suppressing depression disorders by blocking monoamine oxidase and serotonin receptors with better pharmacokinetic and toxicological properties. Overall, the MECP exhibited a significant antidepressant activity with moderate toxicity, which required further advance studies to identify the mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Article
Reversal of Increase in Intestinal Permeability by Mangifera indica Seed Kernel Extract in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(8), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13080190 - 11 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1087
Abstract
Obesity and hyper-intestinal permeability are interconnected. This study is designed to evaluate the ability of Mangifera indica seed kernel extract (MESK) in restoring the intestinal barrier and preventing obesity and associated metabolic complications in a high-fat diet-induced obese mouse model. Four groups of [...] Read more.
Obesity and hyper-intestinal permeability are interconnected. This study is designed to evaluate the ability of Mangifera indica seed kernel extract (MESK) in restoring the intestinal barrier and preventing obesity and associated metabolic complications in a high-fat diet-induced obese mouse model. Four groups of Swiss albino mice: (1) normal diet (ND), (2) high-fat diet (HFD), (3) HFD + Orlistat (100 µg/kg), and (4) HFD + MESK (75 µg/kg), were used to monitor various biochemical parameters associated with metabolic syndrome (glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides) and body weight in an eight-week-long study. In vivo intestinal permeability was determined by the FITC-dextran method. Interestingly, MESK significantly reduced HFD-induced body weight gain, hepatic lipid accumulation, hepatic fibrosis, hyperglycemia, and dyslipidemia. Additionally, MESK treatment restored the expression of tight junction protein Zonula Occludens-1 (ZO-1) and Claudin-1 and hence prevented increased intestinal permeability induced by a high-fat diet. Moreover, it also increased the expression of potent satiety molecule Nesfatin-1 in the mouse jejunum. Our results, for the first time, establish MESK as a nutraceutical which prevents disruption of the intestinal barrier and thereby intercepts the adverse consequences of compromised intestinal permeability such as obesity, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and systemic inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Article
The In Vitro Anti-amyloidogenic Activity of the Mediterranean Red Seaweed Halopithys Incurva
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(8), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13080185 - 07 Aug 2020
Viewed by 911
Abstract
Neurodegenerative diseases are generally characterized by the presence of neurotoxic amyloid aggregates underlying progressive neuronal death. Since ancient times, natural compounds have been used as curative agents for human health. Amyloid research is constantly looking for safe natural molecules capable of blocking toxic [...] Read more.
Neurodegenerative diseases are generally characterized by the presence of neurotoxic amyloid aggregates underlying progressive neuronal death. Since ancient times, natural compounds have been used as curative agents for human health. Amyloid research is constantly looking for safe natural molecules capable of blocking toxic amyloid aggregates’ formation. From the marine environment, seaweeds are recognized as rich reservoirs of molecules with multiple bioactivities, including the anti-amyloidogenic activity. Here, hydroalcoholic extracts of two seasonal samples of the Mediterranean red seaweed Halophytis incurva (HIEs) were characterized by the HPLC-DAD-MS analysis. The H. incurva anti-amyloidogenic role was explored by incubating both HIEs with hen egg white lysozyme (HEWL), a well-known protein model widely used in amyloid aggregation experiments. The aggregation kinetics and morphological analysis of amyloid aggregates were performed by ThT and AFM analysis, respectively, while their cytotoxicity on SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells was examined by MTT assay. HIEs showed a different efficacy, probably dependent on their metabolic composition, both in inhibiting amyloid fibrillation and in obtaining short and less toxic pre-fibrillary aggregates. Overall, this work sheds light, for the first time, on a Mediterranean red seaweed as a promising renewable resource of bioactive compounds, potentially useful in preventing the formation of toxic amyloid aggregates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Article
Deciphering the Pharmacological Properties of Methanol Extract of Psychotria calocarpa Leaves by In Vivo, In Vitro and In Silico Approaches
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(8), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13080183 - 06 Aug 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1913
Abstract
The present study explores the neuropharmacological, antinociceptive, antidiarrheal, antioxidant, thrombolytic and cytotoxic activity of methanol extract of Psychotria calocarpa leaves (MEPC). In anxiolytic activity testing of MEPC by elevated plus maze test, hole–board test and light–dark test, the extract exhibited a dose-dependent reduction [...] Read more.
The present study explores the neuropharmacological, antinociceptive, antidiarrheal, antioxidant, thrombolytic and cytotoxic activity of methanol extract of Psychotria calocarpa leaves (MEPC). In anxiolytic activity testing of MEPC by elevated plus maze test, hole–board test and light–dark test, the extract exhibited a dose-dependent reduction of anxiety while the open field test observed a decreased locomotion. The administration of MEPC revealed a significant dose-dependent reduction of depressant behavior in forced swimming and tail suspension test. Additionally, the antinociceptive and antidiarrheal activity exposed a significant reduction of nociception and diarrheal behavior at the highest dose. In addition, a strong antioxidant activity was observed in DPPH-free radical-scavenging assay (IC50 = 461.05 μg/mL), total phenol content (118.31 ± 1.12 mg) and total flavonoid content (100.85 ± 0.97 mg). The significant clot–lysis activity was also observed with moderate toxicity (LC50 = 247.92 μg/mL) level in the lethality assay of brine shrimp. Moreover, in silico molecular docking study showed that the compound Psychotriasine could offer promising active site interactions for binding proteins. Furthermore, ADME/T and toxicological properties of the compound satisfied the Lipinski’s rule of five and Veber rules for drug-like potential and toxicity level. Overall, MEPC had a potential neuropharmacological, antinociceptive, antidiarrheal and antioxidant activity that warranted further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Communication
Assessment of the Potential Skin Application of Plectranthus ecklonii Benth.
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(6), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13060120 - 10 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1177
Abstract
Plectranthus ecklonii Benth. has widespread ethnobotanical use in African folk medicine for its medicinal properties in skin conditions. In this study, two different basic formulations containing P. ecklonii extracts were prepared, one in an organic solvent and the other using water. The aqueous [...] Read more.
Plectranthus ecklonii Benth. has widespread ethnobotanical use in African folk medicine for its medicinal properties in skin conditions. In this study, two different basic formulations containing P. ecklonii extracts were prepared, one in an organic solvent and the other using water. The aqueous extract only contained rosmarinic acid (RA) at 2.02 mM, and the organic extract contained RA and parvifloron D at 0.29 and 3.13 mM, respectively. RA in aqueous solution permeated skin; however, in P. ecklonii organic extract, this was not detected. Thus, P. ecklonii aqueous extract was further studied and combined with benzophenone-4, which elevated the sun protection factor (SPF) by 19.49%. No significant cytotoxic effects were observed from the aqueous extract. The Staphylococcus epidermidis strain was used to determine a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) value of 10 µg·mL−1. The aqueous extract inhibited the activity of acetylcholinesterase by 59.14 ± 4.97%, and the IC50 value was 12.9 µg·mL−1. The association of the P. ecklonii extract with a UV filter substantially elevated its SPF efficacy. Following the multiple bioactivities of the extract and its active substances, a finished product could be claimed as a multifunctional cosmeceutical with broad skin valuable effects, from UV protection to antiaging action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Micromeria fruticosa Induces Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis in Breast and Colorectal Cancer Cells
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(6), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13060115 - 03 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1120
Abstract
Micromeria fruticosa (L.) Druce subsp. serpyllifolia (Lamiaceae) has been used widely in folk medicine to alleviate various ailments such as abdominal pains, diarrhea, colds, eye infections, heart disorders and wounds. A few reports have confirmed different therapeutic potentialities of its extracts, including the [...] Read more.
Micromeria fruticosa (L.) Druce subsp. serpyllifolia (Lamiaceae) has been used widely in folk medicine to alleviate various ailments such as abdominal pains, diarrhea, colds, eye infections, heart disorders and wounds. A few reports have confirmed different therapeutic potentialities of its extracts, including the anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, analgesic, antiobesity and antidiabetic activities. This study aimed to investigate the mechanistic pathway of the antiproliferative activity of the ethanolic extract of M. fruticosa on two different cancer cell lines, namely human breast (mammary carcinoma F7 (MCF-7)) and human colorectal (human colon tumor cells (HCT-116)) cell lines. The 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide tetrazolium (MTT) assay, Annexin V-FITC/PI, caspases 8/9 and cell cycle analyses, qRT-PCR and Western blot were used to assess the effect of M. fruticosa on cytotoxicity, apoptosis, cell cycle, cell cycle-related genes and protein expression profiles in MCF-7 and HCT-116. The extract inhibits cell proliferation in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) for both cell lines was found to be 100 μg/mL. Apoptosis induction was confirmed by Annexin V-FITC/PI, that was related to caspases 8 and 9 activities induction. Furthermore, the cell cycle analysis revealed arrest at G2/M phase. The underlying mechanism involved in the G2/M arrest was found to be associated with the downregulation of CDK1, cyclin B1 and survivin that was confirmed by qRT-PCR and Western blotting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Communication
Actaea racemosa L. Is More Effective in Combination with Rhodiola rosea L. for Relief of Menopausal Symptoms: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(5), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13050102 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 1924
Abstract
Background: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of a new herbal preparation (Menopause Relief EP®), the hybrid combination of Actaea racemosa L. (black cohosh, BC) and Rhodiola rosea L. (RR) root extracts, compared with [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of a new herbal preparation (Menopause Relief EP®), the hybrid combination of Actaea racemosa L. (black cohosh, BC) and Rhodiola rosea L. (RR) root extracts, compared with the most effective dose of BC extract in women with menopausal complaints. Methods: A total of 220 women were randomly assigned to receive two capsules either BC (6.5 mg), BC500 (500 mg), Menopause Relief EP® (206,5), or placebo once per day for 12 weeks. The efficacy endpoints were relief of menopausal symptoms, measured using the Kupperman Menopausal Index (KMI), Menopause Relief Score (MRS), and menopause Utian Quality of Life (UQOL) index. Results: The menopause symptom relief effects of RR-BC were significantly superior in all tests to the effects of BC and placebo after their repeated administration for 6 and 12 weeks. There was no statistically significant difference between the effects of BC and BC500 over time. RR-BC significantly improved the QOL index in patients, compared to BC, BC500, and placebo, mainly due to the beneficial effects on the emotional and health domains. Conclusions: BC is more effective in combination with RR in relief of menopausal symptoms, particularly psychological symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Article
Mantonico and Pecorello Grape Seed Extracts: Chemical Characterization and Evaluation of In Vitro Wound-Healing and Anti-Inflammatory Activities
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(5), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13050097 - 14 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1155
Abstract
The winemaking process produces a huge number of pomaces that generally are used for energy purposes. Further valuable applications such as health-promoting properties are still under investigation. The seeds of the white berries of Mantonico and Pecorello cv. were extracted in a Soxhlet [...] Read more.
The winemaking process produces a huge number of pomaces that generally are used for energy purposes. Further valuable applications such as health-promoting properties are still under investigation. The seeds of the white berries of Mantonico and Pecorello cv. were extracted in a Soxhlet apparatus, using n-hexane and chloroform as solvents. Extracts were characterized by NMR and GC-MS analyses. They were assayed in vitro as wound healing and anti-inflammatory agents in HaCaT and RAW 264.7 cell lines, respectively. n-hexane Mantonico extract resulted in the most interesting wound healing sample, while n-hexane Pecorello, containing a good number of carotenoids, resulted in a good anti-inflammatory candidate. These preliminary findings underlined the benefit of grape seed extracts valorization due to their health-promoting properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Article
A Polyphenol-Rich Fraction from Eugenia uniflora Exhibits Antioxidant and Hepatoprotective Activities In Vivo
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(5), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13050084 - 29 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1488
Abstract
Leaves from Eugenia uniflora, the red Brazilian cherry, have a high content of flavonoids that possess several biological effects such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antidiabetic activities. However, their influence on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced acute liver injury in rats has not [...] Read more.
Leaves from Eugenia uniflora, the red Brazilian cherry, have a high content of flavonoids that possess several biological effects such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antidiabetic activities. However, their influence on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced acute liver injury in rats has not been investigated. In the current study, a bioguided fractionation assay revealed that the ethyl acetate fraction (EAF) of Eugenia uniflora is the safest and most active fraction. LC-MS analysis of the ethyl acetate fraction revealed 22 secondary metabolites, mainly myricetin and quercetin derivatives. EAF did not show toxicity up to 2000 mg/kg, and exhibited antioxidant activities in vitro in DPPH assay with IC50 of 3.35 µg/mL. Additionally, EAF exhibited substantial antioxidant activities in vivo by counteracting the oxidative damage of the prooxidant juglone [80 µM] in Caenorhabditis elegans model organism and increased its survival rate in a dose-dependent fashion through the DAF-16/Foxo pathway. Furthermore, the hepatoprotective activity of EAF (200 mg/kg against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) intoxicated male Wistar rats was assessed. EAF significantly inhibited CCl4-induced elevation of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), total bilirubin (TB), total cholesterol (TC), and triglycerides (TG), in the blood serum and prevented lipid peroxidation and restored superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and glutathione (GSH) content in liver tissues. The observed hepatoprotective effects of EAF, which were supported by histopathological observations as pretreatment with EAF, effectively attenuated the CCl4-induced histopathological changes. In conclusion, EAF of Eugenia uniflora leaves has substantial hepatoprotective activities against CCl4 induced acute liver injury in rats due to its antioxidant activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Article
Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, and Antidiabetic Activities of Leaves and Stems of Uapaca bojeri Bail. (EUPHORBIACEAE), an Endemic Plant of Madagascar
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(4), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13040071 - 17 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1177
Abstract
Uapaca bojeri is an endemic Malagasy plant used by the local population. This work aimed to evaluate antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic activities of the methanol extracts of U. bojeri leaves and stems and to report their total phenolic content and the bioactive compound [...] Read more.
Uapaca bojeri is an endemic Malagasy plant used by the local population. This work aimed to evaluate antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic activities of the methanol extracts of U. bojeri leaves and stems and to report their total phenolic content and the bioactive compound content by HPLC methods. Antioxidant capacity was determined by DPPH and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. An in vivo carrageenan-induced paw oedema and acetic acid-induced writhing test in mice were used for anti-inflammatory activity evaluation. An oral glucose tolerance test was performed in mice to evaluate antidiabetic activity. The total bioactive compound content of leaves was higher than that of stems. Stem methanol extract inhibited the free radical DPPH more than the leaf methanol extract. Leaf methanol extract inhibited, in a dose-dependent manner, the carrageenan-induced paw oedema more than the stem extract, but their inhibition of the pain symptoms caused an acetic acid-induced decrease similar to the number of writhes in the dose-dependent case. The leaf and stem methanol extracts significantly reduced blood glucose levels after 30 min of glucose loading in mice compared to the control group blood glucose reduction. The presence of several bioactive compounds in U. bojeri contributed to the different biological activities, but isolation and identification of these bioactive molecules are necessary to confirm these pharmacological properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Article
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 - 29 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1749
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)
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Article
Selection of Thai Medicinal Plants with Anti-Obesogenic Potential via In Vitro Methods
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(4), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13040056 - 29 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1211
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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Article
Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory Activities and Polyphenol Profile of Rhamnus prinoides
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(4), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13040055 - 26 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1085
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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Article
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 - 20 Mar 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2557
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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Article
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
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1743
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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Review

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Review
From Ethnomedicine to Plant Biotechnology and Machine Learning: The Valorization of the Medicinal Plant Bryophyllum sp.
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(12), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13120444 - 04 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 889
Abstract
The subgenus Bryophyllum includes about 25 plant species native to Madagascar, and is widely used in traditional medicine worldwide. Different formulations from Bryophyllum have been employed for the treatment of several ailments, including infections, gynecological disorders, and chronic diseases, such as diabetes, neurological [...] Read more.
The subgenus Bryophyllum includes about 25 plant species native to Madagascar, and is widely used in traditional medicine worldwide. Different formulations from Bryophyllum have been employed for the treatment of several ailments, including infections, gynecological disorders, and chronic diseases, such as diabetes, neurological and neoplastic diseases. Two major families of secondary metabolites have been reported as responsible for these bioactivities: phenolic compounds and bufadienolides. These compounds are found in limited amounts in plants because they are biosynthesized in response to different biotic and abiotic stresses. Therefore, novel approaches should be undertaken with the aim of achieving the phytochemical valorization of Bryophyllum sp., allowing a sustainable production that prevents from a massive exploitation of wild plant resources. This review focuses on the study of phytoconstituents reported on Bryophyllum sp.; the application of plant tissue culture methodology as a reliable tool for the valorization of bioactive compounds; and the application of machine learning technology to model and optimize the full phytochemical potential of Bryophyllum sp. As a result, Bryophyllum species can be considered as a promising source of plant bioactive compounds, with enormous antioxidant and anticancer potential, which could be used for their large-scale biotechnological exploitation in cosmetic, food, and pharmaceutical industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Review
Medicinal Plants to Strengthen Immunity during a Pandemic
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(10), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13100313 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1430
Abstract
The development of new effective anti-coronavirus drugs and therapies is important, but it requires significant human, financial and, most importantly, time expenditures. The current pandemic is neither the first nor the last. Humanity has already accumulated considerable survival experience. We cannot do without [...] Read more.
The development of new effective anti-coronavirus drugs and therapies is important, but it requires significant human, financial and, most importantly, time expenditures. The current pandemic is neither the first nor the last. Humanity has already accumulated considerable survival experience. We cannot do without prevention and epidemiological protection measures. This study reviews medicinal plants that grow in Northeast Asia and whose antioxidant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory characteristics are already known, also in the framework of the prevention and treatment of pneumonia of various etiologies. The need for a comprehensive approach to maintaining immunodefences, including functional foods and positive emotions, is emphasized. In the period of pandemics, it is important to research various areas that allow to us accumulate a critical mass of information and cope with the next global disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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Review
Ducrosia spp., Rare Plants with Promising Phytochemical and Pharmacological Characteristics: An Updated Review
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(8), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13080175 - 31 Jul 2020
Viewed by 1276
Abstract
The rare genus Ducrosia (Apiaceae family) consists of six species, which are mainly native to Asia, specifically to Iran and Iraq. The aerial parts of D. anethifolia, as the most common species, have been traditionally consumed to relieve headache, backache and colic pain, [...] Read more.
The rare genus Ducrosia (Apiaceae family) consists of six species, which are mainly native to Asia, specifically to Iran and Iraq. The aerial parts of D. anethifolia, as the most common species, have been traditionally consumed to relieve headache, backache and colic pain, and have also been used as an anxiolytic, an antidepressant, and for treating insomnia. The antispasmodic and carminative effects of D. assadii, and the analgesic activity of D. flabellifolia, along with the insecticidal activities and use as a remedy of skin infections of D. ismaelis, have been previously documented. Among the 49 non-volatile secondary metabolites identified from D. anethifolia and D. ismaelis, 17 linear furanocoumarins and 8 flavonoids have been characterized. The essential oil compositions of four species, including D. anethifolia, D. assadii, D. flabellifolia and D. ismaelis, have been analyzed, whereby aldehyde hydrocarbons, including decanal (10.1–74.0%) and dodecanal (7.2–33.41%), and α-pinene (4.0–70.3%), were identified as the main aroma constituents. From the species of the genus, the bioactivities of D. anethifolia, as well as D. ismaelis, D. assadii and D. flabellifolia, have been previously investigated. Except one clinical trial, all the pharmacological data are derived from preclinical tests, predominantly focusing on antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiproliferative and cytotoxic activities in vitro, and neuroprotective, antidiabetic and analgesic effects in vivo. Considering the vast ethnobotanical uses of the plants in Iranian folk medicine, the phytochemical and pharmacological analysis of un-investigated species might be promising. Furthermore, due to extensive consumption of the Ducrosia genus, more scientific data are needed to support the safety and efficacy of these plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants 2020)
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