Wild Aromatic and Medicinal Plants: Ethnobotany, Biochemistry, and Potential Applications

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Phytochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 5221

Special Issue Editors


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Centro de Investigación e Innovación Científica y Tecnológica, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Saltillo 25280, Coahuila, México
Interests: phytochemicals; antioxidants; antimicrobials; bioactive compounds; edible coatings and films; biocontrol
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Guest Editor
Universidad Autonoma Agraria Antonio Narro, Calzada Antonio Narro 1923, Buenavista, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
Interests: bioactive compounds; metabolic pathways; phytochemicals; antioxidants; antimicrobials; agro-industry

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Guest Editor
Universidad de Sonora, Unidad Regional Norte, Ave. Universidad e Irigoyen, H. Caborca, Sonora 83600, Mexico
Interests: bioactive compounds; chemistry; folk medicine; antimicrobial; antibiofilm antiproliferative; antioxidant

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Guest Editor
Tecnológico Nacional de México, Instituto Tecnológico de Mérida, Calle 10, Plan de Ayala, Mérida 97118, Yucatán, Mexico
Interests: bioactive compounds; food chemistry; starch; tropical fruits; food technology; antioxidants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Wild aromatic and medicinal plants have long been recognized for their rich ethnobotanical heritage, bioactive compounds, and diverse potential applications. This Special Issue is an interdisciplinary study of wild aromatic and medicinal plants, focusing on ethnobotany, biochemistry, and their diverse applications. Ethnobotany reveals the traditional knowledge and cultural uses of these plants, highlighting their significance in traditional medicine and daily life. The biochemistry of these plants, containing bioactive compounds such as essential oils, alkaloids, and phenolic compounds, offers insight into medicinal applications. These plants have been used for centuries in traditional medicine and have attracted scientific research for natural products and pharmaceuticals. They have also been applied in aromatherapy, cosmetics, and sustainable agriculture. The search for active compounds from indigenous remedies is of current interest. This Special Issue serves as an introduction to the captivating world of wild aromatic and medicinal plants, emphasizes the importance of ethnobotanical knowledge, explores their biochemistry, and showcases their potential applications. Further research in this field promises new therapeutic discoveries, cultural preservation, and the sustainable utilization of valuable plant resources. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Biochemistry;
  • Synthesis process;
  • Domestication/seeding of wild plants;
  • Bioactive compounds;
  • Mechanisms of action;
  • Sustainable applications;
  • Novel products;
  • Future perspectives for wild aromatic and medicinal plants.

Dr. María L. Flores-López
Dr. Ana Verónica Charles-Rodríguez
Dr. Julio César López-Romero
Dr. Víctor Manuel Moo-Huchin
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • folk medicine
  • ethnobotany
  • synthesis process
  • bioactive compounds
  • mechanisms of action
  • sustainable applications
  • novel products
 

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 2020 KiB  
Article
Comparative Phytoprofiling of Achillea millefolium Morphotypes: Assessing Antioxidant Activity, Phenolic and Triterpenic Compounds Variation across Different Plant Parts
by Lina Raudone, Gabriele Vilkickyte, Mindaugas Marksa and Jolita Radusiene
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1043; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071043 - 08 Apr 2024
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Abstract
Achillea millefolium L., commonly known as yarrow, is a versatile and widely distributed plant species with a rich history of ethnopharmacological significance. This study aimed to evaluate the comparative differences of A. millefolium inflorescence morphotypes. The phytochemical profile of white and pink inflorescence [...] Read more.
Achillea millefolium L., commonly known as yarrow, is a versatile and widely distributed plant species with a rich history of ethnopharmacological significance. This study aimed to evaluate the comparative differences of A. millefolium inflorescence morphotypes. The phytochemical profile of white and pink inflorescence morphotypes was characterised by a complex of thirty-four phenolic and triterpene compounds. The species has distinct morphotypes of white and pink inflorescence. Phenolic and triterpenic profiles were determined, and individual compounds were quantified in inflorescence, leaf, and stem samples of two morphotypes tested. The antioxidant activity of plant extracts was evaluated by free radical scavenging (ABTS) and ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. Caffeoylquinic acids predominated in all parts of the plant tested. Chlorogenic acid and 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid were the principal compounds in the phenolic profile. Betulin, betulinic acid, and α-amyrin were the prevailing triterpenic components in the triterpenic profiles of Achillea millefolium morphotypes. The predominant flavonoids in inflorescences were flavones, while in leaves, flavonols were the organ-specific compounds. The quantitative differences were observed between plant parts of morphotypes. Leaves consistently displayed the highest amounts of identified compounds and have been testified as the main source of antioxidant activity. Overall, white inflorescences accumulated a higher total amount of compounds compared to pink ones. The observed differences between morphotypes derived from the same population reflect the differences in specialised metabolites and their chemotypes. This study addresses gaps in knowledge, particularly in phenolic and triterpenic profiling of coloured inflorescence morphotypes, enhancing our understanding of chemotypes and morphotypes within the species. Full article
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12 pages, 1479 KiB  
Article
Chemical Analysis of the Essential Oils from Three Populations of Lippia dulcis Trevir. Grown at Different Locations in Southern Ecuador
by Leydy Nathaly Castillo, James Calva, Jorge Ramírez, Giovanni Vidari and Chabaco Armijos
Plants 2024, 13(2), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13020253 - 16 Jan 2024
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Abstract
In this investigation, we have analyzed for the first time the essential oils (EOs) isolated by steam distillation of the leaves and flowers of Lippia dulcis Trevir., grown at three different locations in southern Ecuador: the Catacocha canton (Ca), the Vilcabamba parish (Vi), [...] Read more.
In this investigation, we have analyzed for the first time the essential oils (EOs) isolated by steam distillation of the leaves and flowers of Lippia dulcis Trevir., grown at three different locations in southern Ecuador: the Catacocha canton (Ca), the Vilcabamba parish (Vi), and the Chuquiribamba parish (Ch). Around 98.5% of the oils’ constituents were identified by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) and Gas Chromatography-Flame Ionization Detector (GC-FID) analysis using a DB-5ms capillary column. Sesquiterpene hydrocarbons were predominant in the EOs (79.77, 78.22, and 76.51%, respectively). The most representative constituents of the sample from the Ca canton were β-cedrene (16.75%), δ-selinene (11.04%), and β-cubebene (12.09%), while the sample from the Vi parish was characterized by the abundant presence of β-cedrene (17.9%), δ-selinene (12.52%), and bicyclogermacrene (11.34%). β-Cedrene (18.89%), δ-selinene (11.78%), and δ-cadinene (11.07%) were the main constituents of the essential oil (EO) from the Ch parish. The likely occurrence of low amounts of thermolabile hernandulcin in the volatile oils was indicated by the presence of the fragmentation products 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one and 3-methyl-2-ciclohexen-1-one. In summary, the study gave us a clue to the variability of Lippia dulcis chemotypes depending on the collection sites. Full article
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13 pages, 1110 KiB  
Article
Phytotoxicity of Extracts of Argemone mexicana and Crotalaria longirostrata on Tomato Seedling Physiology
by Henry López López, Mariana Beltrán Beache, Yisa María Ochoa Fuentes, Ernesto Cerna Chavez, Epifanio Castro del Ángel and Juan Carlos Delgado Ortiz
Plants 2023, 12(22), 3856; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12223856 - 15 Nov 2023
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Abstract
Phytotoxicity caused by secondary metabolites of botanical extracts is a drawback in agriculture. The objective of this study was to evaluate the phytotoxic effects of methanolic extracts of Crotalaria longirostrata and Argemone mexicana on the germination and physiological variables of tomato seedlings. The [...] Read more.
Phytotoxicity caused by secondary metabolites of botanical extracts is a drawback in agriculture. The objective of this study was to evaluate the phytotoxic effects of methanolic extracts of Crotalaria longirostrata and Argemone mexicana on the germination and physiological variables of tomato seedlings. The results indicated that high doses of both extracts (Clong500 and Amex500) inhibited tomato seed germination, while their mixture (Cl50 + Am50) promoted germination by 100%. At 30 days after transplanting (dat), the plant height increased by 15.4% with a high dose of C. longirostrata (Clong500) compared to the control. At 30 dat, the vigor index displayed a notable increase with Cl50 + Am50, reaching 29.5%. The root length increased with the mean dose of A. mexicana (Amex95) at 10, 20, and 30 dat (59.7%, 15.1%, and 22.4%, respectively). The chlorophyll content increased with Amex95 by 66.1% in 10 dat, 22.6% at 20 dat, and 19.6% at 30 dat. On the other hand, Amex95 had a higher nitrogen content throughout the trial. Amex95 produced the greatest increase in root dry weight by 731.5% and 209.4% at 10 and 20 dat. The foliage dry weight increased by 85.7% at 10 dat with Amex95 and up to 209.7% with Amex50 at 30 dat. The present investigation reveals the ability of the extracts to stimulate tomato growth at low and medium doses, though at high doses they exhibit allelopathic effects. Full article
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Review

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15 pages, 1483 KiB  
Review
Phytochemical Profiling and Biological Activities of Rhododendron Subsect. Ledum: Discovering the Medicinal Potential of Labrador Tea Species in the Northern Hemisphere
by Martyna Vengrytė and Lina Raudonė
Plants 2024, 13(6), 901; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13060901 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 570
Abstract
Rhododendron subsect. Ledum is a distinct taxonomic subdivision within the genus Rhododendron, comprising a group of evergreen shrubs and small trees. This review will comprehensively analyse the phytochemical profiles and biological properties of the Rhododendron subsect. Ledum species subsect. Ledum consists of [...] Read more.
Rhododendron subsect. Ledum is a distinct taxonomic subdivision within the genus Rhododendron, comprising a group of evergreen shrubs and small trees. This review will comprehensively analyse the phytochemical profiles and biological properties of the Rhododendron subsect. Ledum species subsect. Ledum consists of eight plant species indigenous to temperate and subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere, collectively known as Labrador tea. Recent investigations have concentrated on the phytochemical constituents of these plants due to limited data, emphasizing their evergreen nature and potential industrial significance. This review summarizes their major phytochemical constituents, including flavonoids, phenolic acids, and terpenoids, and discusses their potential biological activities, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antitumor, hypoglycemic, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, and cardioprotective effects. Traditional uses of these plant species align with scientific findings, emphasizing the significance of these plants in traditional medicine. However, despite promising results, gaps exist in our understanding of specific compounds’ therapeutic effects, necessitating further research for comprehensive validation. This review serves as a valuable resource for researchers, identifying current knowledge, uncertainties, and emerging trends in the study of the Rhododendron subsect. Ledum species. Full article
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26 pages, 6251 KiB  
Review
Plants from Arid and Semi-Arid Zones of Mexico Used to Treat Respiratory Diseases: A Review
by Irma E. Dávila-Rangel, Ana V. Charles-Rodríguez, Julio C. López-Romero and María L. Flores-López
Plants 2024, 13(6), 792; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13060792 - 11 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1589
Abstract
Medicinal plants have been a traditional remedy for numerous ailments for centuries. However, their usage is limited due to a lack of evidence-based studies elucidating their mechanisms of action. In some countries, they are still considered the first treatment due to their low [...] Read more.
Medicinal plants have been a traditional remedy for numerous ailments for centuries. However, their usage is limited due to a lack of evidence-based studies elucidating their mechanisms of action. In some countries, they are still considered the first treatment due to their low cost, accessibility, and minor adverse effects. Mexico is in second place, after China, in inventoried plants for medicinal use. It has around 4000 species of medicinal plants; however, pharmacological studies have only been carried out in 5% of its entirety. The species of the Mexican arid zones, particularly in semi-desert areas, exhibit outstanding characteristics, as their adverse growing conditions (e.g., low rainfall and high temperatures) prompt these plants to produce interesting metabolites with diverse biological activities. This review explores medicinal plants belonging to the arid and semi-arid zones of Mexico, focusing on those that have stood out for their bioactive potential, such as Jatropha dioica, Turnera diffusa, Larrea tridentata, Opuntia ficus-indica, Flourensia cernua, Fouquieria splendes, and Prosopis glandulosa. Their extraction conditions, bioactive compounds, mechanisms of action, and biological efficacy are presented, with emphasis on their role in the treatment of respiratory diseases. Additionally, current research, novel applications, and perspectives concerning medicinal plants from these zones are also discussed. Full article
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