Special Issue "Medicinal Plants"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Mariangela Marrelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences,University of Calabria, Rende (CS), Italy
Interests: medicinal plants; plant extracts; natural bioactive compounds; phytochemicals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Medicinal plants have a long history of use all around the world. Many species have been utilized in traditional medicine against a number of diseases. The knowledge on their induced health benefits has been transmitted over the centuries within human communities, and natural products play a pivotal role as a productive source of drug lead compounds. Currently, a number of drugs of plant origin, used throughout the millennia, are included in modern pharmacotherapy. Nevertheless, medicinal plants still have a hopeful future, as many species have not yet been studied or remain to be more deeply investigated as regards both their chemical constituents and biological properties.

At present, the development of advanced tools for the qualitative and quantitative assessment of phytochemicals, such as high-performance liquid chromatography and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, has enhanced the rate of bioassay-guided fractionation, significantly improving phytochemical investigation. On the other hand, the empirical data on the biological properties of many plant species have been verified. The potential benefits for human health of different plant raw extracts and their bioactive components, together with their mechanisms of action, have been elucidated as well.

This Special Issue will focus on more recent studies dealing with medicinal plants secondary metabolites and in vitro or in vivo biological properties. To this purpose, original research articles, reviews, and short communications are welcome.

Dr. Mariangela Marrelli
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.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Plants is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Medicinal plants
  • Phytochemicals
  • Bioactive compounds

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Organosulfur and Amino Acid Composition between Triploid Onion Allium cornutum Clementi ex Visiani, 1842, and Common Onion Allium cepa L., and Evidences for Antiproliferative Activity of Their Extracts
Plants 2020, 9(1), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9010098 - 13 Jan 2020
Abstract
Species that belong to the genus Allium have been widely used for human food and traditional medicine. Their beneficial health effects, as well as the specific aroma, are associated with their bioactive chemical compounds, such as sulfur compounds and flavonoids. Gas chromatography and [...] Read more.
Species that belong to the genus Allium have been widely used for human food and traditional medicine. Their beneficial health effects, as well as the specific aroma, are associated with their bioactive chemical compounds, such as sulfur compounds and flavonoids. Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC–MS) and reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (reverse-phase HPLC) were used to identify organosulfur and amino acid content of triploid hybrid onion, Allium cornutum Clement ex Visiani, 1842, and common onion, Allium cepa L. Allium extracts were tested for their antiproliferative activity in three human cancer cell lines (HeLa, HCT116, and U2OS). DNA fragmentation and DAPI staining analysis were performed on HeLa cells to evaluate the effect of extracts on DNA damage and cell morphology. The mRNA expression of p53, Bax, and Caspase-3 genes involved in apoptosis were analyzed by real-time PCR. Using GC–MS, 27 compounds were found in two Allium species headspaces. Differences were noted among the main compound abundance in the headspace (although the major thiols and disulfides were qualitatively identic in both Allium species) and dipropyl disulfide, diisopropyl trisulfide, and (Z)-prop-1-enyl propyl trisulfide were predominant sulfides. Identification of amino acids and their quantities were determined by reverse-phase HPLC. Most abundant amino acids in both onions were arginine (Arg) and glutamic acid (Glu). The results of cytotoxicity testing confirmed antiproliferative effects of both species. The DNA fragmentation assay, DAPI staining and real time PCR analysis confirmed that A. cornutum and A. cepa extracts induced apoptosis in HeLa cells. This study presents the evidence for possible therapeutic use of A. cornutum and A. cepa extracts against human cervical carcinoma cell line. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Lobularia maritima (L.) Desv. Aerial Parts Methanolic Extract: In Vitro Screening of Biological Activity
Plants 2020, 9(1), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9010089 - 10 Jan 2020
Abstract
Lobularia maritima (L.) Desv. is a perennial herb growing wild in the Mediterranean basin. The aim of this work was to assess the fatty acid, terpene, phytosterol, and phenolic composition of the methanolic extract and its sub-fractions using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), High-Performance [...] Read more.
Lobularia maritima (L.) Desv. is a perennial herb growing wild in the Mediterranean basin. The aim of this work was to assess the fatty acid, terpene, phytosterol, and phenolic composition of the methanolic extract and its sub-fractions using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), High-Performance Liquid Chromathography with Dioide-Array Detector (HPLC-DAD), High-Performance Liquid Chromathography-High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-HRMS), and Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS). The potential health benefits of this plant species have been investigated as well. The antioxidant activity was determined in vitro by means of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and β-carotene bleaching tests. The inhibitory potential towards the production of the pro-inflammatory mediator nitric oxide was verified on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated murine macrophage RAW 264.7 cell line. A remarkable inhibitory activity was observed for the dichloromethane fraction, with an IC50 value equal to 45.86 ± 1.05 μg/mL, a significant result if compared to indomethacin and the known nitric oxide synthase inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), used as positive controls. Moreover, the ethyl acetate fraction proved to be effective in inhibiting pancreatic lipase, an enzyme that plays a pivotal role in the gastrointestinal digestion of dietary fat, suggesting that this species could potentially be a promising source of useful compounds for the treatment of obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Myricetin Abrogates Cisplatin-Induced Oxidative Stress, Inflammatory Response, and Goblet Cell Disintegration in Colon of Wistar Rats
Plants 2020, 9(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9010028 - 24 Dec 2019
Abstract
Cisplatin [cis-diamminedichloroplatinum II] is an extensively prescribed drug in cancer chemotherapy; it is also useful for the treatment of diverse types of malignancies. Conversely, cisplatin is associated with a range of side effects such as nephrotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, gastrointestinal toxicity, and so on. Myricetin [...] Read more.
Cisplatin [cis-diamminedichloroplatinum II] is an extensively prescribed drug in cancer chemotherapy; it is also useful for the treatment of diverse types of malignancies. Conversely, cisplatin is associated with a range of side effects such as nephrotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, gastrointestinal toxicity, and so on. Myricetin (3,5,7-trihydroxy-2-(3,4,5-trihydroxyphenyl)-4chromenone) is a very common natural flavonoid found in fruits, tea, and plants. It has been found to have high-value pharmacological properties and strong health benefits. To examine the role of myricetin in colon toxicity induced by cisplatin, we conducted a concurrent prophylactic study in experimental animals that were treated orally with myricetin for 14 days at two doses—25 and 50 mg/kg of body weight. On the 14th day, a single intraperitoneal injection of cisplatin (7.5 mg/kg body weight) was administered in all groups except control. The effects of myricetin in cisplatin-induced toxicity in the colon were assessed in terms of antioxidant status, phase-II detoxification enzymes, the level of inflammatory markers, and goblet cell disintegration. Myricetin was found to restore the level of all the antioxidant enzymes analyzed in the study. In addition, the compound ameliorated cisplatin-induced lipid peroxidation, increase in xanthine oxidase activity, and phase-II detoxifying enzyme activity. Myricetin also attenuated deteriorative effects induced by cisplatin by regulating the level of molecular markers of inflammation (NF-κB, Nrf-2, IL-6, and TNF-α), restoring Nrf-2 levels, and controlling goblet cell disintegration. The current study reinforces the conclusion that myricetin exerts protection in colon toxicity via up-regulation of inflammatory markers, improving anti-oxidant status, and protecting tissue damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Herbal Teas and Drinks: Folk Medicine of the Manoor Valley, Lesser Himalaya, Pakistan
Plants 2019, 8(12), 581; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120581 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
In spite of the remarkable achievements in the healthcare sector over recent decades, inequities in accessibility and affordability of these facilities coexist throughout Pakistan. Thus, we aimed to explore and document the cultural knowledge of herbal teas used medicinally by the local community [...] Read more.
In spite of the remarkable achievements in the healthcare sector over recent decades, inequities in accessibility and affordability of these facilities coexist throughout Pakistan. Thus, we aimed to explore and document the cultural knowledge of herbal teas used medicinally by the local community members of Manoor Valley, Pakistan. Field investigations were undertaken during the summer season of 2015–2017, and cultural practices of medicinal plant usage for treating various ailments were gathered through interviews of the local inhabitants. Ethnomedicinal insights of the medicinal plants used in herbal teas were gained with different indexes. Our results revealed 27 plant species, comprising of herbs (70%), shrubs (26%), and trees (4%), which were used for treating 21 diseases. Plants belonged to 18 families: Asteraceae and Lamiaceae were the leading families used for treating diseases. Diarrhea and gas troubles were the most frequent diseases. Based on indexes values, Cannabis sativa was the dominant species used. The results revealed that 57% of medicinal uses are new to literature. This ethnomedicinal study is providing the first insights into the traditional medication system of Lesser Himalaya, Pakistan, through ethnomedicinal teas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Phytochemical Profiles and In Vitro Immunomodulatory Activity of Ethanolic Extracts from Galium aparine L.
Plants 2019, 8(12), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120541 - 25 Nov 2019
Abstract
Galium aparine L., family Rubiaceae, is a widely spread species in the Galium genus. The herb of G. aparine is part of folk remedies and dietary supplements. In this study, we analyzed the chemical composition and immunomodulatory activities of G. aparine herb ethanolic [...] Read more.
Galium aparine L., family Rubiaceae, is a widely spread species in the Galium genus. The herb of G. aparine is part of folk remedies and dietary supplements. In this study, we analyzed the chemical composition and immunomodulatory activities of G. aparine herb ethanolic extracts obtained from the plant material by maceration with 20%, 60% or 96% ethanol. The contents of hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, flavonoids and polyphenols were determined spectrophotometrically, with extractives and polysaccharides quantified gravimetrically. The qualitative composition was studied using UHPLC-DAD-MS/MS analysis; isolation not previously described in G. aparine quercetin rhamnoglucoside was carried out through column chromatography, and the immunomodulatory activity of extracts was determined in the reaction of lymphocyte blast transformation. Major constitutes of extracts were iridoids, i.e., monotropein, 10-desacetylasperulosidic acid and asperulosidic acid; p-hydroxybenzoic acid; hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, i.e., 3-O-caffeoylquinic, 5-O-caffeoylquinic, 3,4-O-dicaffeoylquinic, 3,5-O-dicaffeoylquinic, 4,5-O-dicaffeoylquinic acids and caffeic acid derivatives; flavonoids, i.e., rutin, quercetin 3-O-rhamnoglucoside-7-O-glucoside, and isorhamnetin 3-O-glucorhamnoside. Significantly, quercetin 3-O-rhamnoglucoside-7-O-glucoside was first isolated and identified in Galium species so far investigated. All G. aparine herb ethanolic extracts stimulate the transformational activity of immunocompetent blood cells, with 96% ethanolic extract being the most active. The data obtained necessitate further research into the mechanisms of immunomodulatory activity of extracts from G. aparine herb. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Chenopodium album L. and Sisymbrium officinale (L.) Scop.: Phytochemical Content and In Vitro Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Potential
Plants 2019, 8(11), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110505 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
Spontaneous edible plants have an old history of use in popular traditions all around the world, and the rediscovery of these species could also be useful for the search of new drugs. Chenopodium album L. (Amaranthaceae) and Sisymbrium officinale (L.) Scop. (Brassicaceae) are [...] Read more.
Spontaneous edible plants have an old history of use in popular traditions all around the world, and the rediscovery of these species could also be useful for the search of new drugs. Chenopodium album L. (Amaranthaceae) and Sisymbrium officinale (L.) Scop. (Brassicaceae) are two annual plants traditionally used both as food and herbal remedies against inflammatory disorders. In this work, the potential anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activities of these plant species have been investigated, together with their antioxidant potential. The phytochemical composition was assessed as well by means of gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC). The antioxidant properties were assessed using the DPPH and β-carotene bleaching test. The ability of extracts to protect against lipid peroxidation was also examined in rat-liver microsomal membranes. All the samples showed a preservation of antioxidant activity up to 60 min. A significant inhibitory activity on the production of the pro-inflammatory mediator nitric oxide was induced in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells by the dichloromethane fraction of C. album extract, with an IC50 value equal to 81.7 ± 0.9 μg/mL. The same sample showed also a concentration-dependent anti-denaturation effect on heat-treated bovine serum albumin (IC50 = 975.6 ± 5.5 μg/mL), even if the best in vitro anti-arthritic activity was observed for the dichloromethane fraction of S. officinale extract, with an IC50 value of 680.9 ± 13.2 μg/mL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Antioxidant, Antidiabetic, and Anticholinesterase Activities and Phytochemical Profile of Azorella glabra Wedd
Plants 2019, 8(8), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8080265 - 03 Aug 2019
Abstract
Oxidative stress is involved in different diseases, such as diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. The genus Azorella includes about 70 species of flowering plant species; most of them are commonly used as food and in particular as a tea infusion in the Andean region [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress is involved in different diseases, such as diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. The genus Azorella includes about 70 species of flowering plant species; most of them are commonly used as food and in particular as a tea infusion in the Andean region of South America in folk medicine to treat various chronic diseases. Azorella glabra Wedd. aerial parts were firstly analyzed for their in vitro antioxidant activity using different complementary assays. In particular, radical scavenging activity was tested against biological neutral radical DPPH; ferric reducing power and lipid peroxidation inhibitory capacity (FRAP and Beta-Carotene Bleaching tests) were also determined. The Relative Antioxidant Capacity Index (RACI) was used to compare data obtained by different assays. Then, the inhibitory ability of samples was investigated against α-amylase and α-glucosidase enzymes involved in diabetes and against acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase enzymes considered as strategy for the treatment of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s diseases. Moreover, the phytochemical profile of the sample showing the highest RACI (1.35) and interesting enzymatic activities (IC50 of 163.54 ± 9.72 and 215.29 ± 17.10 μg/mL in α-glucosidase and acetylcholinesterase inhibition, respectively) was subjected to characterization and quantification of its phenolic composition using LC-MS/MS analysis. In fact, the ethyl acetate fraction derived from ethanol extract by liquid/liquid extraction showed 29 compounds, most of them are cinnamic acid derivatives, flavonoid derivatives, and a terpene. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report about the evaluation of significant biological activities and phytochemical profile of A. glabra, an important source of health-promoting phytochemicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to TopTop