Medicinal Plants: Advances in Phytochemistry and Ethnobotany II

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 May 2024 | Viewed by 6130

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Natural Products (LaProNat), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Brasilia (UnB), Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro, Asa Norte, Brasilia, Brazil
Interests: natural products chemistry; herbal medicines; regulatory issues; Cerrado plant species
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Panoz Institute, Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Dublin, Ireland
Interests: natural products chemistry; medicinal plants pharmacology; ethnopharmacology; chemotaxonomy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ethnobotanical information and phytochemical studies are usually the first steps taken to validate the ethnomedicinal use of a plant species, together with in vitro and in vivo preclinical assays. Although preliminary, all data obtained in these initial stages are important to define the next steps towards the potential development of a herbal medicine. For native and endemic species, research in these areas is sometimes key to avoid the destruction of the plant population or the extinction of the species. Additionally, in this sense, classic and modern techniques, together with the use of artificial intelligence, metabolomic analysis and system pharmacology, are integrated in order to allow a full understanding of a herbal medicine. Last year, in the first edition of the Special Issue ‘Medicinal Plants: Advances in Phytochemistry and Ethnobotany’, 27 research groups worldwide submitted original papers or reviews on several aspects of the use, chemistry, pharmacology and quality control of medicinal plants, and among them, thirteen papers were published. Research and attempts to fully understand medicinal plants are an endless task, especially considering their different traditional uses. Therefore, a second issue on this same relevant theme is now presented, and we invite researchers to share their findings on all aspects of ethnobotany as well as chemistry, toxicity, biological activity, AI and regulatory issues linked to medicinal plants and their development into new medicines.

Prof. Dr. Dâmaris Silveira
Dr. Fabio Boylan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • ethnobotanical survey
  • traditional medicine
  • phytochemistry investigation
  • regulatory issues
  • biological activity assays

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 2110 KiB  
Article
Influence of Sucrose and Activated Charcoal on Phytochemistry and Vegetative Growth in Zephyranthes irwiniana (Ravenna) Nic. García (Amaryllidaceae)
by Bertholdo Dewes Neto, Kicia Karinne Pereira Gomes-Copeland, Dâmaris Silveira, Sueli Maria Gomes, Julia Marina Muller Craesmeyer, Daniela Aparecida de Castro Nizio and Christopher William Fagg
Plants 2024, 13(5), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13050569 - 20 Feb 2024
Viewed by 667
Abstract
Zephyranthes irwiniana (Ravenna) Nic. García is an endemic, red list threatened species from the Brazilian savanna (Cerrado) with pharmacological potential to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). This work analyzed the vegetative growth and phytochemistry of its potential compounds, in response to [...] Read more.
Zephyranthes irwiniana (Ravenna) Nic. García is an endemic, red list threatened species from the Brazilian savanna (Cerrado) with pharmacological potential to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). This work analyzed the vegetative growth and phytochemistry of its potential compounds, in response to variations in sucrose concentration and activated carbon (AC). Seeds were germinated in vitro and in the greenhouse. The in vitro bulbs were separated in six treatments with different sucrose concentrations (30, 45 and 60 gL−1) and/or AC (1 gL−1). Biomass increases in individuals grown in the greenhouse were higher than those cultivated in vitro. Sucrose concentration significantly increased biomass and root number. AC had a positive influence on leaf and root size, and a negative influence on root number. GC–MS analyses indicated great variation in the abundance of α-terpenyl-acetate, ethyl linoleate, clionasterol and lycorine between treatments, with maximum concentrations of 53.06%, 38.68, 14.34% and 2.57%, respectively. Histolocalization tests indicated the presence of alkaloids in the leaf chlorenchyma and bulb cataphylls. Finally, the present study provided new evidence that the constitution of the culture medium directly influences the vegetative growth and phytochemistry of this species, providing a good medium condition for propagating the species under threat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants: Advances in Phytochemistry and Ethnobotany II)
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12 pages, 1503 KiB  
Article
Vasodilation and Blood Pressure-Lowering Effect of 3-Demethyl-2-Geranyl-4-Prenylbellidifoline, a Xanthone Obtained from Garcinia achachairu, in Hypertensive Rats
by Luísa Nathália Bolda Mariano, Rita de Cássia Vilhena da Silva, Rivaldo Niero, Valdir Cechinel Filho, José Eduardo da Silva-Santos and Priscila de Souza
Plants 2024, 13(4), 528; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040528 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 543
Abstract
3-demethyl-2-geranyl-4-prenylbellidifoline (DGP), a natural xanthone isolated from Garcinia achachairu, has previously demonstrated remarkable diuretic and renal protective actions. The present study expands its actions on the cardiovascular system by evaluating its vasorelaxant and blood pressure-lowering effects in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). Aortic [...] Read more.
3-demethyl-2-geranyl-4-prenylbellidifoline (DGP), a natural xanthone isolated from Garcinia achachairu, has previously demonstrated remarkable diuretic and renal protective actions. The present study expands its actions on the cardiovascular system by evaluating its vasorelaxant and blood pressure-lowering effects in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). Aortic endothelium-intact (E+) preparations of SHRs pre-contracted by phenylephrine and exposed to cumulative concentrations of G. achachairu extract, fractions, and DGP exhibited a significant relaxation compared to vehicle-only exposed rings. The non-selective muscarinic receptor antagonist (atropine), the non-selective inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase (L-NAME), as well as the inhibitor of soluble guanylate cyclase (ODQ) altogether avoided DGP-induced relaxation. Tetraethylammonium (small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel blocker), 4-aminopyridine (a voltage-dependent K+ channel blocker), and barium chloride (an influx-rectifying K+ channel blocker) significantly reduced DGP capacity to induce relaxation without the interference of glibenclamide (an ATP-sensitive inward rectifier 6.1 and 6.2 K+ channel blocker). Additionally, administration of DGP, 1 mg/kg i.v., decreased the mean, systolic, and diastolic arterial pressures, and the heart rate of SHRs. The natural xanthone DGP showed promising potential as an endothelium-dependent vasorelaxant, operating through the nitric oxide pathway and potassium channels, ultimately significantly reducing blood pressure in hypertensive rats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants: Advances in Phytochemistry and Ethnobotany II)
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17 pages, 3116 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Anticancer Potential of Traditional Thai Medicinal Plants: A Focus on Dracaena loureiri and Its Effects on Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer
by Xiaomin Huang, Punnida Arjsri, Kamonwan Srisawad, Supachai Yodkeeree and Pornngarm Dejkriengkraikul
Plants 2024, 13(2), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13020290 - 18 Jan 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 997
Abstract
Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is renowned for its aggressive and highly metastatic nature. In recent years, there has been a surge in interest regarding the therapeutic potential of traditional medicinal plants. Dracaena loureirin (D. loureirin), Ficus racemosa Linn. (F. racemosa [...] Read more.
Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is renowned for its aggressive and highly metastatic nature. In recent years, there has been a surge in interest regarding the therapeutic potential of traditional medicinal plants. Dracaena loureirin (D. loureirin), Ficus racemosa Linn. (F. racemosa), and Harrisonia perforata (Blanco) Merr. (H. perforata) are prominent traditional medicinal herbs in Thailand, recognized for their diverse biological activities, including antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effects. However, their prospective anti-cancer properties against NSCLC remain largely unexplored. This study aimed to evaluate the anti-cancer attributes of ethanolic extracts obtained from D. loureiri (DLEE), F. racemosa (FREE), and H. perforata (HPEE) against the A549 lung adenocarcinoma cell lines. Sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay results revealed that only DLEE exhibited cytotoxic effects on A549 cells, whereas FREE and HPEE showed no such cytotoxicity. To elucidate the anti-cancer mechanisms of DLEE, cell cycle and apoptosis assays were performed. The findings demonstrated that DLEE inhibited cell proliferation and induced cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase in A549 cells through the downregulation of key cell cycle regulator proteins, including cyclin D1, CDK-2, and CDK-4. Furthermore, DLEE treatment facilitated apoptosis in A549 cells by suppressing anti-apoptotic proteins (Bcl-2, Bcl-xl, and survivin) and enhancing apoptotic proteins (cleaved-caspase-3 and cleaved-PARP-1). In summary, our study provides novel insights into the significant anti-cancer properties of DLEE against A549 cells. This work represents the first report suggesting that DLEE has the capability to impede the growth of A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells through the induction of apoptosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants: Advances in Phytochemistry and Ethnobotany II)
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29 pages, 1574 KiB  
Article
A Comprehensive Study on Lathyrus tuberosus L.: Insights into Phytochemical Composition, Antimicrobial Activity, Antioxidant Capacity, Cytotoxic, and Cell Migration Effects
by Rita Jakabfi-Csepregi, Ágnes Alberti, Csenge Anna Felegyi-Tóth, Tamás Kőszegi, Szilvia Czigle and Nóra Papp
Plants 2024, 13(2), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13020232 - 14 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 885
Abstract
In this study, in vitro antioxidant, antimicrobial, cytotoxic, and cell migration effects of phenolic compounds of Lathyrus tuberosus leaves, known in the Transylvanian ethnomedicine, were investigated. Ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was employed for the analysis of the ethanolic and aqueous extracts. The [...] Read more.
In this study, in vitro antioxidant, antimicrobial, cytotoxic, and cell migration effects of phenolic compounds of Lathyrus tuberosus leaves, known in the Transylvanian ethnomedicine, were investigated. Ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was employed for the analysis of the ethanolic and aqueous extracts. The antimicrobial properties were determined using a conventional microdilution technique. Total antioxidant capacity techniques were used using cell-free methods and cell-based investigations. Cytotoxic effects were conducted on 3T3 mouse fibroblasts and HaCaT human keratinocytes using a multiparametric method, assessing intracellular ATP, total nucleic acid, and protein levels. Cell migration was visualized by phase-contrast microscopy, employing conventional culture inserts to make cell-free areas. Together, 93 polyphenolic and monoterpenoid compounds were characterized, including flavonoid glycosides, lignans, hydroxycinnamic acid, and hydroxybenzoic acid derivatives, as well as iridoids and secoiridoids. The ethanolic extract showed high antioxidant capacity and strong antimicrobial activity against Bacillus subtilis (MIC80 value: 354.37 ± 4.58 µg/mL) and Streptococcus pyogenes (MIC80 value: 488.89 ± 4.75 µg/mL). The abundance of phenolic compounds and the results of biological tests indicate the potential for L. tuberosus to serve as reservoirs of bioactive compounds and to be used in the development of novel nutraceuticals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants: Advances in Phytochemistry and Ethnobotany II)
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29 pages, 6315 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Pest Management Using Novel Nanoemulsions of Honeysuckle and Patchouli Essential Oils against the West Nile Virus Vector, Culex pipiens, under Laboratory and Field Conditions
by Wafaa M. Hikal, Mohamed M. Baz, Mohammed Ali Alshehri, Omar Bahattab, Rowida S. Baeshen, Abdelfattah M. Selim, Latifah Alhwity, Rabaa Bousbih, Maha Suleiman Alshourbaji and Hussein A. H. Said-Al Ahl
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3682; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213682 - 25 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1333
Abstract
Essential oils are natural plant products that are very interesting, as they are important sources of biologically active compounds. They comprise eco-friendly alternatives to mosquito vector management, particularly essential oil nanoemulsion. Therefore, the aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of [...] Read more.
Essential oils are natural plant products that are very interesting, as they are important sources of biologically active compounds. They comprise eco-friendly alternatives to mosquito vector management, particularly essential oil nanoemulsion. Therefore, the aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of 16 selected essential oils (1500 ppm) in controlling mosquitoes by investigating their larvicidal effects against the larvae and adults of the West Nile virus vector Culex pipiens L. (Diptera: Culicidae); the best oils were turned into nanoemulsions and evaluated under laboratory and field conditions. The results show that honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium) and patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) essential oils were more effective in killing larvae than the other oils (100% mortality) at 24 h post-treatment. The nanoemulsions of honeysuckle (LC50 = 88.30 ppm) and patchouli (LC50 = 93.05 ppm) showed significantly higher larvicidal activity compared with bulk honeysuckle (LC50 = 247.72 ppm) and patchouli (LC50 = 276.29 ppm) oils. L. caprifolium and P. cablin (100% mortality), followed by Narcissus tazetta (97.78%), Rosmarinus officinalis (95.56%), and Lavandula angustifolia (95.55%), were highly effective oils in killing female mosquitoes, and their relative efficacy at LT50 was 5.5, 5.3, 5.8, 4.1, and 3.2 times greater, respectively, than Aloe vera. The results of the field study show that the honeysuckle and patchouli oils and their nanoemulsions reduced densities to 89.4, 86.5, 98.6, and 97.0% at 24 h post-treatment, respectively, with persistence for eight days post-treatment in pools. Nano-honeysuckle (100% mortality) was more effective than honeysuckle oils (98.0%). Our results show that honeysuckle and patchouli oils exhibited promising larvicidal and adulticidal activity of C. pipiens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants: Advances in Phytochemistry and Ethnobotany II)
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20 pages, 7606 KiB  
Article
Hepatoprotective Effects of Four Brazilian Savanna Species on Acetaminophen-Induced Hepatotoxicity in HepG2 Cells
by Gislane dos Santos Ribeiro, Diegue Henrique Nascimento Martins, João Victor Dutra Gomes, Noel William Davies, Christopher William Fagg, Luiz Alberto Simeoni, Mauricio Homem-de-Mello, Pérola Oliveira Magalhães, Dâmaris Silveira and Yris Maria Fonseca-Bazzo
Plants 2023, 12(19), 3393; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12193393 - 26 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1032
Abstract
We investigated four Cerrado plant species, i.e., Cheiloclinium cognatum (Miers) A.C.Sm, Guazuma ulmifolia Lam., Hancornia speciosa Gomes, and Hymenaea stigonocarpa Mart. ex Hayne, against acetaminophen toxicity using an in vitro assay with HepG2 cells. The activity against acetaminophen toxicity was evaluated using different [...] Read more.
We investigated four Cerrado plant species, i.e., Cheiloclinium cognatum (Miers) A.C.Sm, Guazuma ulmifolia Lam., Hancornia speciosa Gomes, and Hymenaea stigonocarpa Mart. ex Hayne, against acetaminophen toxicity using an in vitro assay with HepG2 cells. The activity against acetaminophen toxicity was evaluated using different protocols, i.e., pre-treatment, co-treatment, and post-treatment of the cells with acetaminophen and the plant extracts. HepG2 cell viability after treatment with acetaminophen was 39.61 ± 5.59% of viable cells. In the pre-treatment protocol, the extracts could perform protection with viability ranging from 50.02 ± 15.24% to 78.75 ± 5.61%, approaching the positive control silymarin with 75.83 ± 5.52%. In the post-treatment protocol, all extracts and silymarin failed to reverse the acetaminophen damage. In the co-treatment protocol, the extracts showed protection ranging from 50.92 ± 11.14% to 68.50 ± 9.75%, and silymarin showed 77.87 ± 4.26%, demonstrating that the aqueous extracts of the species also do not increase the toxic effect of acetaminophen. This protection observed in cell viability was accompanied by a decrease in ROS. The extracts’ hepatoprotection can be related to antioxidant compounds, such as rutin and mangiferin, identified using HPLC-DAD and UPLC-MS/MS. The extracts were shown to protect HepG2 cells against future APAP toxicity and may be candidates for supplements that could be used to prevent liver damage. In the concomitant treatment using the extracts with APAP, it was demonstrated that the extracts do not present a synergistic toxicity effect, with no occurrence of potentiation of toxicity. The extracts showed considerable cytoprotective effects and important antioxidant characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants: Advances in Phytochemistry and Ethnobotany II)
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