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Medicinal plants are a primary source of organic compounds, both for their medicinal and physiological effects, and for the industrial organic synthesis of a vast array of organic chemicals.[1] Many hundreds of medicines are derived from plants, both traditional medicines used in herbalism[2][3] and chemical substances purified from plants or first identified in them, sometimes by ethnobotanical search, and then organic synthesis for use in modern medicine such as aspirin, taxol, morphine, quinine, reserpine, colchicine, digitalis and vincristine.

Plants used in herbalism include Ginkgo biloba, echinacea, feverfew, and Saint John's wort.

The pharmacopoeia of Dioscorides, De Materia Medica, describing some 600 medicinal plants, was written between 50 and 70 AD and remained in use in Europe and the Middle East until around 1600 AD; it was the precursor of all modern pharmacopoeias.[4][5][6]

All plants produce chemical compounds which give them an evolutionary advantage, such as defending against herbivores or, in the example of salicylic acid, as a plant hormone in plant defenses.[7][8] These phytochemicals have potential for use as drugs, and the content and known pharmacological activity of these substances in medicinal plants is the scientific basis for their use in modern medicine, if scientifically confirmed.[9] For instance, daffodils (Narcissus) contain nine groups of alkaloids including galantamine, licensed for use against Alzheimer's disease. The alkaloids are bitter-tasting and toxic, and concentrated in the parts of the plant such as the stem most likely to be eaten by herbivores; they may also protect against parasites.[10][11][12]

Acacia farnesiana[edit | edit source]

Achillea millefolium[edit | edit source]

Ambrosia acanthicarpa[edit | edit source]

Ambrosia ambrosioides[edit | edit source]

Ambrosia arborescens[edit | edit source]

Ambrosia artemisiifolia[edit | edit source]

Ambrosia confertiflora[edit | edit source]

Ambrosia cordifolia[edit | edit source]

Ambrosia deltoidea[edit | edit source]

Ambrosia dumosa[edit | edit source]

Ambrosia eriocentra[edit | edit source]

Ambrosia ilicifolia[edit | edit source]

Ambrosia monogyra[edit | edit source]

Ambrosia psilostachya[edit | edit source]

Ambrosia salsola[edit | edit source]

Ambrosia trifida[edit | edit source]

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi[edit | edit source]

Common bearberry, Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) - fruits and leaves, photo was taken in the Selkirk Mountains of northern Idaho. Credit: Jesse Taylor.{{free media}}


The plant contains diverse phytochemicals, including ursolic acid, tannic acid, gallic acid, some essential oils and resin, hydroquinones (mainly arbutin, up to 17%), tannins (up to 15%), phenolic glycosides and flavonoids.[13] Arctostaphylos uva-ursi leaves contain arbutin,[14][15] which metabolizes to form hydroquinone, a potential [hepatotoxic (liver toxin).[15][16]

Argemone mexicana[edit | edit source]

Flower of Mexican Poppy (Argemone mexicana) is featured, an introduced weed on Réunion island. Credit: B.navez.{{free media}}
Diagram illustrates the structure of protopine. Credit: WH23{{free media}}.

Argemone mexicana (Mexican poppy,[17] Mexican prickly poppy, flowering thistle,[18]) is of the family Papaveraceae.

Berberine is a found in Argemone mexicana (prickly poppy).

Argemone mexicana seeds contain 22–36% of a pale yellow non-edible oil, called argemone oil or katkar oil, which contains the toxic alkaloids sanguinarine and dihydrosanguinarine.

Four quaternary isoquinoline alkaloids, dehydrocorydalmine, jatrorrhizine, columbamine, and oxyberberine, have been isolated from the whole plant of Argemone mexicana.[19] Many other alkaloids such as argemexicaines A and B, coptisine, cryptopine, allocryptopine and chelerythrine have also been found in this plant.[20]

The seed pods secrete a pale yellow latex when cut open. This argemone resin contains berberine and protopine.

Arnica cordifolia[edit | edit source]

Arnica montana[edit | edit source]

Astragalus membranaceus[edit | edit source]

Bacopa monnieri[edit | edit source]

Family Plantaginaceae.

Bacopa monnieri is used in Ayurveda (Ayurvedic traditional medicine) to improve memory and to treat various ailments.[21] Reviews of preliminary research found that Bacopa monnieri may nootropic (improve cognition),[21][22] although the effect was measurable only after several weeks of use.[23]

In 2019, the FDA issued warning letters to manufacturers of dietary supplements containing Bacopa monnieri that advertised health claims for treating or preventing stomach disease, Alzheimer's disease, hypoglycemia, blood pressure, and anxiety were unproven and illegal. The FDA stated that Bacopa monnieri products have not been approved for these or any medical purposes.[24][25][26]

The most commonly reported adverse effects of Bacopa monnieri in humans are nausea, increased intestinal motility, and gastrointestinal upset.[21]

The best characterized phytochemicals in Bacopa monnieri are dammarane-type triterpenoid saponins known as bacosides, with jujubogenin or pseudo-jujubogenin moieties as aglycone units.[27] Bacosides comprise a family of 12 known analogs.[28] Other saponins called bacopasides I–XII were identified.[29] The alkaloids brahmine, nicotine, and herpestine have been catalogued, along with D-mannitol, apigenin, hersaponin, monnierasides I–III, cucurbitacin and plantainoside B.[30][31][32]

Berberis aristata[edit | edit source]

Chemical structure of berberine, an alkaloid found in B. aristata, is illustrated. Credit: NEUROtiker.{{free media}}

Family Berberidaceae.

Berberine is a quaternary ammonium salt from the protoberberine group of benzylisoquinoline alkaloids found in Berberis aristata (tree turmeric).[33]

The root bark contains the bitter alkaloid berberine, which has been studied for its potential pharmacological properties.[34]

Berberis vulgaris[edit | edit source]

Berberis vulgaris (European barberry)/(Jaundice berry)/(Ambarbaris)/(Barberry) is a shrub in the family Berberidaceae, native to central and southern Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia. Fruit are shown. Credit: Arnstein Rønning.{{free media}}

The dried fruit of Berberis vulgaris (barberry) is used in herbal medicine.[35] The chemical constituents include isoquinolone alkaloids, especially berberine, with a full list of phytochemicals compiled.[36]

Boswellia sacra[edit | edit source]

Monoterpenes found in the essential oil of Boswellia sacra resin. Credit: Ahmed Al-Harrasi and Salim Al-Saidi.{{fairuse}}
Boswellia sacra is shown at Florida International University campus, Miami, Florida, USA. Credit: Scott Zona from USA.{{Free media}}
Sesquiterpenes found in the essential oil of the Boswellia sacra resin. Credit: Ahmed Al-Harrasi and Salim Al-Saidi.{{fairuse}}

Boswellia sacra (commonly known as frankincense or olibanum-tree)[37] is a tree in the Burseraceae family, the primary tree in the genus Boswellia from which frankincense, a resinous dried sap, is harvested and is native to the Arabian Peninsula (Oman, Yemen), and horn of Africa (Somalia).[37]

"The [essential] oil of [Boswellia sacra] contains a high proportion of monoterpenes (97.3%) in which E-β-ocimene and limonene were the major constituents. The remaining 2.7% was accounted for by sesquiterpenes, in which E-caryophyllene was the major constituent."[38]

"The monoterpenes were identified as 2-β-pinene (0.1%), α-thujene (6.6%), E-β-ocimene (32.3%), 2,4(10)-thujadiene (0.2%), camphene (0.6%), sabinene (5.2%), 1-β-pinene (1.8%), myrcene (6.9%), α- pinene (5.3%), 2-carene (0.8%), limonene (33.5%), Z-β-ocimene (0.2%), γ-terpinene (1.0%), terpinolene (0.4%), p-cymene (0.2%), 1,4-cyclohexadiene (0.1%), perillene (0.1%), isopentyl-2- methyl butanoate (0.1%), isomyl valerate (0.1%), 1,3,6-trimethylenecycloheptane (0.1%), β-thujone (0.1%), α-campholene aldehyde (0.2%), allo-ocimene (0.1%), trans-pinocarveol (0.1%), p-mentha- 1,5-dien-8-ol (0.2 %), 4-terpineol (0.2%), sabinyl acetate (0.1%), myrtenal (0.1%), α-terpineol (0.1%), α-phellandrene epoxide (0.1%), verbenone (0.1%), trans-(+)-carveol (0.1%), carvone (0.1%) and 1- bornyl acetate (0.1%)."[38] See the image on the right.

"The sesquiterpenes were identified to be α-cubebene (0.1%), α-copaene (0.3%), β-bourbonene (0.1%), β-elemene (0.3%), α-gurjunene (0.1%), E-caryophyllene (0.9%), α-humulene (0.2%), allo-aromadendrene (0.0.1%), α-amorphene (0.1%), germacrene D (0.1%), β-selinene (0.1%), α-selinene (0.1%), α-muurolene (0.1%), γ-cadinene (0.1%), caryophyllene oxide (0.01%) and γ-muurolene (0.1%)."[38] See the image on the left.

Boswellia serrata[edit | edit source]

Boswellia serrata is a plant that produces Indian frankincense, also known as Indian oli-banum, Salai guggul, and Sallaki in Sanskrit.[39] The plant is native to much of India and the Punjab region that extends into Pakistan.[40]

Boswellia serrata contains various derivatives of boswellic acid including β-boswellic acid, acetyl-β-boswellic acid, 11-keto-β-boswellic acid and acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid [AKBA].[41]

Extracts of Boswellia serrata have been clinically studied for osteoarthritis and joint function, with the research showing trends of benefit (slight improvement) in pain and function.[42] It has been used in Indian traditional medicine for diabetes.[43]

Calendula officinalis[edit | edit source]

Camellia reticulata[edit | edit source]

Camellia reticulata is shown in a hand-coloured engraving after a drawing by Alfred Chandler (1804-1896). Credit: BernardM.{{free media}}

Camellia reticulata has a long history of cultivation, both for tea oil and for its ornamental value.[44]

Camellia sasanqua[edit | edit source]

Camellia sasanqua is used as a garden plant, its leaves are used for tea, and its seeds for oil. Credit: junichiro aoyama from Kyoto, Japan.{{Free media}}

The leaves are used to make tea while the seeds or nuts are used to make tea seed oil,[45] which is used for lighting, lubrication, cooking and cosmetic purposes.

Camellia sinensis[edit | edit source]

Tea plant is shown in a tea plantation. Credit: Sebastianjude.{{Free media}}

Family Theaceae.

Polyphenols found in green tea include epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epicatechin gallate, epicatechins and flavanols,[46] which are under laboratory research for their potential effects in vivo.[47] Other components include three kinds of flavonoids, known as kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin.[48] Although the mean content of flavonoids and catechins in a cup of green tea is higher than that in the same volume of other food and drink items that are traditionally considered to promote health,[49] flavonoids and catechins have no proven biological effect in humans.[50][51]

Green tea leaves are initially processed by soaking in an alcohol solution, which may be further concentrated to various levels; byproducts of the process are also packaged and used. Extracts are sold over the counter in liquid, powder, capsule, and tablet forms,[47][52] and may contain up to 17.4% of their total weight in caffeine,[53] though decaffeinated versions are also available.[54]

Numerous claims have been made for the health benefits of green tea, but human clinical research has not found good evidence of benefit.[55][50][56] In 2011, a panel of scientists published a report on the claims for health effects at the request of the European Commission: in general they found that the claims made for green tea were not supported by sufficient scientific evidence.[50] Although green tea may enhance mental alertness due to its caffeine content, there is only weak, inconclusive evidence that regular consumption of green tea affects the risk of cancer or cardiovascular diseases, and there is no evidence that it benefits weight loss.[55]

A 2020 review by the Cochrane Collaboration listed some potential adverse effects including gastrointestinal disorders, higher levels of liver enzymes, and, more rarely, insomnia, raised blood pressure, and skin reactions.[57]

Research has shown there is no good evidence that green tea helps to prevent or treat cancer in people.[57]

The link between green tea consumption and the risk of certain cancers such as stomach cancer and non-melanoma skin cancers is unclear due to inconsistent or inadequate evidence.[58][59]

Green tea interferes with the chemotherapy drug bortezomib (Velcade) and other boronic acid-based proteasome inhibitors, and should be avoided by people taking these medications.[60]

Observational studies found a minor correlation between daily consumption of green tea and a 5% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. In a 2015 meta-analysis of such observational studies, an increase in one cup of green tea per day was correlated with slightly lower risk of death from cardiovascular causes.[61] Green tea consumption may be correlated with a reduced risk of stroke.[62][63] Meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials found that green tea consumption for 3–6 months may produce small reductions (about 2–3 mm Hg each) in systolic and diastolic blood pressures.[63][64][65][66] A separate systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found that consumption of 5-6 cups of green tea per day was associated with a small reduction in systolic blood pressure (2 mmHg), but did not lead to a significant difference in diastolic blood pressure.[67]

Green tea consumption lowers fasting glucose (fasting blood sugar) but in clinical studies the beverage's effect on hemoglobin A1c and fasting insulin levels was inconsistent.[68][69][70]

Drinking green tea or taking green tea supplements decreases the blood concentration of total cholesterol (about 3–7 mg/dL), low density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) (about 2 mg/dL), and does not affect the concentration of high density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol) or triglycerides.[67][68][71] A 2013 Cochrane meta-analysis of longer-term randomized controlled trials (>3 months duration) concluded that green tea consumption lowers total and LDL cholesterol concentrations in the blood.[68]

A 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials found that green tea consumption was not significantly associated with lower plasma levels of C-reactive protein levels (a marker of inflammation).[72]

There is no good evidence that green tea aids in weight loss or weight maintenance.[55][73]

Excessive consumption of green tea extract has been associated with hepatotoxicity and liver failure.[74][75][76] In 2018, a scientific panel for the European Food Safety Authority reviewed the safety of green tea consumption over a low-moderate range of daily EGCG intake from 90 to 300 mg per day, and with exposure from high green tea consumption estimated to supply up to 866 mg EGCG per day.[77] Dietary supplements containing EGCG may supply up to 1000 mg EGCG and other catechins per day.[77] The panel concluded that EGCG and other catechins from green tea in low-moderate daily amounts are generally regarded as safe, but in some cases of excessive consumption of green tea or use of high-EGCG supplements, liver toxicity may occur.[77]

Cassia abbreviata[edit | edit source]

Cassia javanica[edit | edit source]

Chamaemelum nobile[edit | edit source]

Cichorium intybus[edit | edit source]

Cinnamomum burmannii[edit | edit source]

Family Lauraceae.

Cinnamomum burmannii is Korintje, Padang cassia, or Indonesian cinnamon.

Cinnamomum cassia[edit | edit source]

Cassia or Chinese cinnamon is the most common commercial type in the USA.

Cinnamon, spice, ground
Energy 1,035 kJ (247 kcal)
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Carbohydrates 80.6
Sugars 2.2
Dietary fiber 53.1
Fat 1.2
Protein 4
Vitamins Quantity % Daily value (DV)*
Vitamin A equivalent 15 µg 2
Thiamine (B1) 0.02 mg 2
Riboflavin (B2) 0.04 mg 3
Niacin (B3) 1.33 mg 9
Pyridoxine B6 0.16 mg 12
Folate B9 6 µg 2
Vitamin C 3.8 mg 5
Vitamin E 2.3 mg 15
Vitamin K 31.2 µg 30
Minerals Quantity % DV*
Calcium 1002 mg 100
Iron 8.3 mg 64
Magnesium 60 mg 17
Phosphorus 64 mg 9
Potassium 431 mg 9
Sodium 10 mg 1
Zinc 1.8 mg 19
Other constituents Quantity
Water 10.6 gm
  • note: Source: USDA Database[78]

Ground cinnamon is composed of around 11% water, 81% carbohydrates (including 53% dietary fiber), 4% protein, and 1% fat.[78] In a 100 gram reference amount, ground cinnamon is a rich source of calcium (100% of the Daily Value (DV)), iron (64% DV), and vitamin K (30% DV).

Cinnamomum citriodorum[edit | edit source]

Cinnamomum citriodorum is Malabar cinnamon.

Cinnamomum loureiroi[edit | edit source]

Cinnamomum loureiroi is Saigon cinnamon, Vietnamese cassia, or Vietnamese cinnamon.

Cinnamomum verum[edit | edit source]

Dried bark strips, bark powder and flowers of the small tree Cinnamomum verum are shown. Credit: Simon A. Eugster.{{free media}}

Cinnamomum verum is Sri Lanka cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon or Cinnamomum zeylanicum.

Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum, used mainly as an aromatic condiment and flavouring additive in a wide variety of cuisines, sweet and savoury dishes, breakfast cereals, snackfoods, tea and traditional foods, derived from its essential oil and principal component, cinnamaldehyde, as well as numerous other constituents including eugenol.

Citrus maxima[edit | edit source]

The orange is the fruit of various Citrus species in the family Rutaceae; it primarily refers to Citrus × sinensis,[79] which is also called sweet orange, to distinguish it from the related Citrus × aurantium, referred to as bitter orange. The sweet orange reproduces asexually (apomixis through nucellar embryony); varieties of sweet orange arise through mutations.[80][81][82][83]

The orange is a hybrid between pomelo (Citrus maxima) and mandarin (Citrus reticulata).[80][84] The chloroplast genome, and therefore the maternal line, is that of pomelo.[85] The sweet orange has had its full genome sequenced.[80]

Oranges contain diverse phytochemicals, including carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein and beta-cryptoxanthin), flavonoids (e.g. naringenin)[86] and numerous volatile organic compounds producing orange aroma, including aldehydes, esters, terpenes, alcohols, and ketones.[87]

Although not as juicy or tasty as the flesh, orange peel is edible and has significant contents of vitamin C, dietary fiber, total polyphenols, carotenoids, limonene and dietary minerals, such as potassium and magnesium.[88]

Citrus reticulata[edit | edit source]

Coffea arabica[edit | edit source]

Several coffee cherries grow along a branch; some are green and some are beginning to ripen. Credit: Forest & Kim Starr.{{free media}}

Family Rubiaceae.

Phenolic acids and alkaloids in Coffea arabica: chlorogenic acid, syringic acid, ferulic acid, protocatechuic acid, hydroxybenzoic acid, caffeine, caffein acid, theophylline and trigonelline.[89]

Coffea canephora[edit | edit source]

Immature Coffea canephora berries are on a tree in Goa, India. Credit: J.M.Garg.{{free media}}

Caffeine (1,3,7-trimethylxanthine) is the alkaloid most present in green and roasted coffee beans. The content of caffeine is between 1.0% and 2.5% by weight of dry green coffee beans. The content of caffeine does not change during maturation of green coffee beans.[90] Lower concentrations of theophylline, theobromine, paraxanthine, liberine, and methylliberine can be found. The concentration of theophylline, an alkaloid noted for its presence in green tea, is reduced during the roasting process, usually about 15 minutes at 230 °C (446 °F), whereas the concentrations of most other alkaloids are not changed. The solubility of caffeine in water increases with temperature and with the addition of chlorogenic acids, citric acid, or tartaric acid, all of which are present in green coffee beans. For example, 1 g (0.035 oz) of caffeine dissolves in 46 ml (1.6 US fl oz) of water at room temperature, and 5.5 ml (0.19 US fl oz) at 80 °C (176 °F).[91] The xanthine alkaloids are odorless, but have a bitter taste in water, which is masked by organic acids present in green coffee.

Trigonelline (N-methyl-nicotinate) is a derivative of vitamin B6 that is not as bitter as caffeine. In green coffee beans, the content is between 0.6% and 1.0%. At a roasting temperature of 230 °C (446 °F), 85% of the trigonelline is degraded to nicotinic acid, leaving small amounts of the unchanged molecule in the roasted beans.[92][93]

Coffea liberica[edit | edit source]

Excelsa coffee cherries are small and not uniform. Credit: Qomar nurusy syamsu.{{free media}}

Coffea racemosa[edit | edit source]

Coffea racemosa has naturally low levels of caffeine. Credit: Ton Rulkens.{{free media}}

"The basic genome, which is characteristic to most members of Rubiaceae family, is x = 11. The studied Coffea and Psilanthus species are all diploids that have 2n = 22 chromosomes, such as in C. liberica, C. robusta, C. kapakata, Coffea zanguebariae Lour., Coffea racemosa Lour., Coffea ligustroides S. Moore, Coffea mauritiana Lam., C. dewevrei, Coffea excelsa A. Chev., Coffea brevipes Hiern., Coffea congensis A. Froehner, Coffea stenophylla G. Don., and C. eugenioides [3]."[94]

"In Coffea species, 5-caffeoylquinic acid (5-CQA) is the most abundant soluble ester. The beans of C. canephora contain feruloylquinic acids (3-, 4- and 5-FQA) and the isomers of monoester (3-, 4- and 5-CQA) and diester (3,4-, 3,5- and 4,5-diCQA) CQAs. Hydroxycinnamoylquinic acids are involved in the bitterness of coffee beverage due to their degradation into phenolics during roasting [17]. Additionally, various iridoid glycosides, tannins, and anthraquinones have also been detected in coffees [18]."[94]

"Campa et al studied the presence of mangiferin and hydroxycinnamic acid esters in 23 African coffee leaves. They found that the total hydroxycinnamic acid content of C. arabica was significantly higher than that of other species (e.g. Coffea sessiliflora Bridson, Coffea resinora Hook.f., Coffea leroyi A.P.Davis), and mangiferin and isomangiferin were present in higher concentration in the young leaves than in other plant parts [21], [22]. Opposite to C. arabica and Coffea humilis A. Chev, feruloylquinic acids were present in higher amount in Coffea stenophylla and 3,4-dicaffeoylquinic acid were found in C. canephora. The caffeoylquinic acid content of the adult leaves of C. canephora was 10 times lower when compared to the young ones [17]. Coffea anthonyi Stoff. & F. Anthony and Coffea salvatrix Swynn. & Philipson presented higher concentration of mangiferin than C. arabica, C. eugenoides, Coffea heterocalyx Stoff., Coffea pseudozanguebariae (C. pseudozanguebariae), or Coffea sesiliflora Bridson [21], [23]."[94]

"The presence of monoterpenoid alkaloids is characteristic to Rubiaceae family. In the synthesis of purine alkaloids, there are involved several enzymes such as caffeine synthase, xanthosine 7-N-methyltransferase, 7-methylxanthine 3-N-methyltransferase, caffeine xanthinemethyltransferase 1 (CaMXMT1), caffeine methylxanthinemethyltransferase 2 (CaMXMT2), caffeine dimethylxanthinemethyltransferase (CaDXMT1), and theobromine 1-N-methyltransferase [24]."[94]

"The characteristic aroma of coffee is due to α-2-furfurylthiol, 4-vinylguaiacol, some alkyl and 3-methylbutane tyrosine derivatives, furanones, acetaldehyde, propanal, methylpropanal, and 2-a content [30], [31]. Cafesterol and bengalensol have also been isolated and identified by various chromatographic techniques in Coffea benghalensis [27], [32], [33]."[94]

"Carotenoids, which are generally present in leaf, flower, fruit, and shoot of plants, play an important role in the stabilization of lipid membranes, the photosynthesis, and the protecion against strong radiation and photooxidative processes. Experiments with coffee species also showed that the transcript levels of enzymes involved in the synthesis of carotenoids increased under stress conditions [34]."[94]

"The official drug is the seed (Coffeae semen) which contains 1.25%–2.5% caffeine (roasted seeds: 1.36%–2.85%), theobromine, theophylline, 4.4%–7.5% chlorogenic acid (roasted seeds: 0.3%–0.6%), 0.8%–1.25% trigonelline (roasted seeds: 0.3%–0.6%), 0.022% choline, 10%–16% fatty oil, quinic acid, sitosterol, dihidrositosterine, stigmasterol, coffeasterin, tannin, wax, caffeic acid, sugar, cellulose, hemicellulose, non-volatile aliphatic acids (citric, malic, and oxalic acid), volatile acids (acetic, propanoic, butanoic, isovaleric, hexanoic, and decanoic acids), soluble carbohydrates (e.g. monosaccharides: fructose, glucose, galactose, and arabinose), oligosaccharides: sucrose, raffinose, and stachyose, and polymers of galactose, mannose, arabinose, and glucose [30], [31], [38]. The concentration of caffeine, which occurs partially in free form or forms salt with chlorogenic acid, is reduced during roasting [39]. Theophylline is used as an important smooth muscle relaxant (in bronchospasms) in combination with ethylenediamine (Aminophylline) or choline."[94]

"Coffee seeds are rich in biologically active substances and polyphenols such as kaempherol, quercetin, ferulic, sinapic, nicotinic, quinolic, tannic, and pyrogallic acids which possess antioxidant, hepatoprotective, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and hypolipidaemic effects [41], [42], [43], [44], [45], [46], [47], [48], [49]. Besides the cis-isomers of chlorogenic acid in Arabic coffee [50], caffeic, chlorogenic, p-coumaric, ferulic, and sinapic acids, as well as rutin, quercetin, kaempferol, and isoquercitrine were detected in its fruit and that of Bengal coffee [51]."[94]

"Isoquercitrin and rutoside extracted from coffee seeds that can be used for atherosclerosis, while quercitrin has positive chronotropic, positive inotropic, and antiarrhythmic effects, as well as protected LDL against oxidative modifications in guinea pig. Quercetin and rutoside have been used in the treatment of capillary fragility and phlebosclerosis [43]."[94]

Commiphora myrrha[edit | edit source]

Small lumps are myrrh resin. Credit: Sjschen.{{free media}}

Family Burseraceae.

Myrrh is a natural gum-resin extracted from a number of small, thorny tree species of the genus Commiphora.[95] Myrrh resin has been used throughout history as a perfume, incense and medicine. Myrrh mixed with posca or wine was common across ancient cultures, for general pleasure, and as an analgesic.[96]

Myrrh is used as an antiseptic in mouthwashes, gargles, and toothpastes.[97] It is also used in some liniments and healing salves that may be applied to abrasions and other minor skin ailments. Myrrh has been used as an analgesic for toothaches and can be used in liniment for bruises, aches, and sprains.[98]

Myrrh gum is commonly claimed to remedy indigestion, ulcers, colds, cough, asthma, lung congestion, arthritis pain, and cancer.[99]

Myrrh is said to have special efficacy on the heart, liver, and spleen meridians as well as "blood-moving" powers to purge stagnant blood from the uterus, recommended for rheumatic, arthritic, and circulatory problems, and for amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menopause and uterine tumours, uses similar to those of frankincense, with which it is often combined in decoctions, liniments, and incense, used in concert, myrrh is "blood-moving" while frankincense is thought to move the qi, making it used for arthritic conditions, or combined with such herbs as notoginseng, safflower petals, angelica sinensis, cinnamon, and salvia miltiorrhiza, usually in alcohol, and used both internally and externally.[100]

Commiphora wightii[edit | edit source]

Guggul (Commiphora wightii) is considered one of the best substances for the treatment of circulatory problems, nervous system disorders, and rheumatic complaints.[101][102]

Coptis chinensis[edit | edit source]

Family Ranunculaceae.

Berberine is found in Coptis chinensis (Chinese goldthread).

The rhizomes of Coptis chinensis contain the isoquinoline alkaloids berberine,[103] palmatine, and coptisine among others.

Curcuma longa[edit | edit source]

Curcumin keto form is diagrammed. Credit: Ronhjones.{{free media}}
Curcumin enol form is diagrammed. Credit: Ronhjones.{{free media}}

Family Zingiberaceae.

Turmeric powder is about 60–70% carbohydrates, 6–13% water, 6–8% protein, 5–10% fat, 3–7% dietary minerals, 3–7% essential oils, 2–7% dietary fiber, and 1–6% curcuminoids.[104]

Phytochemical components of turmeric include diarylheptanoids, a class including numerous curcuminoids, such as curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin.[104][105] Curcumin constitutes up to 3.14% of assayed commercial samples of turmeric powder (the average was 1.51%); curry powder contains much less (an average of 0.29%).[106] Some 34 essential oils are present in turmeric, among which turmerone, germacrone, atlantone, and zingiberene are major constituents.[107][108][109]

Turmeric and curcumin have been studied in numerous clinical trials for various human diseases and conditions, with no high-quality evidence of any anti-disease effect or health benefit.[104][110][111][112] There is no scientific evidence that curcumin reduces inflammation.[104][110][113] There is weak evidence that turmeric extracts may be beneficial for relieving symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.[114]

Cynara cardunculus[edit | edit source]

Equisetum telmateia[edit | edit source]

Equisetum telmateia (Equisetopsida) is shown at Cambridge Botanic Garden. Credit: Rror{{free media}}

Family Equisetaceae.

Equisetum telmateia, the great horsetail or northern giant horsetail, is a species with an unusual distribution, with one subspecies endemic to Europe, western Asia and northwest Africa, and a second subspecies native to western North America.[115][116]

Eschscholzia californica[edit | edit source]

Family Papaveraceae.

Berberine is found in Eschscholzia californica (Californian poppy).

Californidine is a chemical compound found in Eschscholzia californica.

Eurycoma longifolia[edit | edit source]

Family Simaroubaceae.

Among standardization markers that have been used for E. longifolia are eurycomanone, total protein, total polysaccharide and glycosaponin, which have been recommended in a technical guideline developed by the Scientific and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM).[117]

Eurycoma longifolia has been reported to contain the glycoprotein compounds eurycomanol, eurycomanone, and eurycomalactone.[118]

Foeniculum vulgare[edit | edit source]

Since the seed in the fruit is attached to the pericarp, the whole fruit is often mistakenly called "seed". Credit: Howcheng{{free media}}

Family Apiaceae.

Fennel is widely cultivated, both in its native range and elsewhere, for its edible, strongly flavored leaves and fruits. Its aniseed or liquorice flavor[119] comes from anethole, an aromatic compound also found in anise and star anise, and its taste and aroma are similar to theirs, though usually not as strong.[120]

The aromatic character of fennel fruits derives from essential oil (volatile oils) imparting mixed aromas, including trans-anethole and estragole (resembling liquorice), fenchone (mint and camphor), limonene,[121] 1-octen-3-ol (mushroom).[122] Other phytochemicals found in fennel fruits include polyphenols, such as rosmarinic acid and luteolin, among others in minor content.[123]

Ginko biloba[edit | edit source]

Family Ginkgoaceae.

"According to some sources, the medicinal use of ginkgo dates back to 2800 B.C.… However, the first undisputed written records of ginkgo come much later… Ginkgo first appears in copies of the Shen Nung pharmacopeia around the eleventh and twelfth centuries."[124]

Ginkgo has been used in traditional Chinese medicine since at least the 11th century C.E.[124] Ginkgo seeds, leaves, and nuts have traditionally been used to treat various ailments, such as dementia, asthma, bronchitis, and kidney and bladder disorders. However, there is no conclusive evidence that ginkgo is useful for any of these conditions.[125][126][127]

The European Medicines Agency Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products concluded that medicines containing ginkgo leaf can be used for treating mild age-related dementia and mild peripheral vascular disease in adults after serious conditions have been excluded by a physician.[128]

Glycyrrhiza glabra[edit | edit source]

Griffonia simplicifolia[edit | edit source]

Hibiscus acetosella[edit | edit source]

Family Malvaceae.

In Angola a tea made from the leaves of cranberry hibiscus are used as a post-fever tonic and to treat anemia.[129] The plant is also utilized to treat myalgias by crushing leaves into cold water to bathe children.[129] The plant is thought to contain polyphenols, a compound that may combat inflammation and is commonly used to treat inflammatory diseases.[130]

Hibiscus cannabinus[edit | edit source]

Kenaf seeds yield an edible vegetable oil. The kenaf seed oil is also used for cosmetics, industrial lubricants and for biofuel production. Kenaf oil is high in omega polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Kenaf seed oil contains a high percentage of linoleic acid (Omega-6) a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA). Linoleic acid (C18:2) is the dominant PUFA, followed by oleic acid (C18:1). Alpha-linolenic acid (C18:3) is present in 2 to 4 percent.

Kenaf seed oil is 20.4% of the total seed weight, similar to that of cotton seed.

Kenaf Edible Seed Oil Contains:

  • Palmitic acid: 19.1%
  • Oleic acid: 28.0% (Omega-9)
  • Linoleic acid: 45% (Omega-6)
  • Stearic acid: 3.0%
  • Alpha-linolenic acid: 3% (Omega-3)

Hibiscus sabdariffa[edit | edit source]

The Hibiscus leaves are a good source of polyphenolic compounds. The major identified compounds include neochlorogenic acid, chlorogenic acid, cryptochlorogenic acid, caffeoylshikimic acid and flavonoid compounds such as quercetin, kaempferol and their derivatives.[131] The flowers are rich in anthocyanins, as well as protocatechuic acid. The dried calyces contain the flavonoids gossypetin, hibiscetine and sabdaretine. The major pigment is not daphniphylline.[132] Small amounts of myrtillin (delphinidin 3-monoglucoside), chrysanthenin (cyanidin 3-monoglucoside), and delphinidin are present. Roselle seeds are a good source of lipid-soluble antioxidants, particularly gamma-tocopherol.[133]

Hibiscus tiliaceus[edit | edit source]

Cyanidin-3-glucoside is the major anthocyanin found in flowers of H. tiliaceus.[134] Leaves of H. tiliaceus displayed strong free radical scavenging activity and the highest tyrosinase inhibition activity among 39 tropical plant species in Okinawa.[135] With greater UV radiation in coastal areas, it is possible that leaves and flowers of natural coastal populations of H. tiliaceus have stronger antioxidant properties than planted inland populations.[136]

Hibiscus syriacus[edit | edit source]

Hibiscus[137][138] is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae.

The generic name is derived from the Greek name ἰβίσκος (ibískos) which Pedanius Dioscorides gave to Althaea officinalis (ca 40–90 AD).[139][140]

Several species are widely cultivated as ornamental plants, notably Hibiscus syriacus and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis.[141]

Huperzia serrata[edit | edit source]

Family Lycopodiaceae.

Huperzine A is a naturally occurring sesquiterpene alkaloid compound found in the firmoss Huperzia serrata[142] and in varying quantities in other food Huperzia species, including H. elmeri, H. carinat, and H. aqualupian.[143] Huperzine A has been investigated as a treatment for neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, but a meta-analysis of those studies concluded that they were of poor methodological quality and the findings should be interpreted with caution.[144][145]

Huperzine A is extracted from Huperzia serrata.[142] "Huperzine A (HupA), a novel alkaloid isolated from the Chinese herb Huperzia serrata, is a potent, highly specific and reversible inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase (AChE)."[146] It is a reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitor[146][147][148][149] and NMDA receptor antagonist[150] that crosses the blood-brain barrier.[151] Acetylcholinesterase is an enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and of some other choline esters that function as neurotransmitters. The structure of the complex of huperzine A with acetylcholinesterase has been determined by X-ray crystallography (PDB code: 1VOT; see the 3D structure).[152]

For some years, huperzine A has been investigated as a possible treatment for diseases characterized by neurodegeneration, particularly Alzheimer's disease.[142][153] A 2013 meta-analysis found that huperzine A may be efficacious in improving cognitive function, global clinical status, and activities of daily living for individuals with Alzheimer's disease. However, due to the poor size and quality of the clinical trials reviewed, huperzine A should not be recommended as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease unless further high quality studies confirm its beneficial effects.[144]

Huperzine A is also marketed as a dietary supplement with claims made for its ability to improve memory and mental function.[154]

Huperzine A has also been noted to help induce lucid dreaming.[155]

Hydrastis canadensis[edit | edit source]

Berberine is found in Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal).[156]

Kunzea ericoides[edit | edit source]

Lagerstroemia speciosa[edit | edit source]

Leptospermum polygalifolium[edit | edit source]

The nectar from the flowers is harvested by bees, yielding Leptospermum honey, which is marketed as Manuka honey.[157] Honey produced from Australian Leptospermum polygalifolium is also known as jelly bush or the lemon-scented tea tree.[158]

Lonicera japonica[edit | edit source]

Lonicera japonica fruit is growing in the Aizu area, Fukushima pref., Japan. Credit: Qwert1234.{{free media}}

In traditional Chinese medicine,[159] Lonicera japonica is called rěn dōng téng[159] literally "winter enduring vine") or jīn yín huā[159] literally "gold-silver flower". Alternative Chinese names include er hua and shuang hua, meaning double-[color] flowers.[160] In Korean, it is called geumeunhwa.

The dried leaves and flowers (Flos Lonicerae Japonicae) are employed in traditional Chinese medicine, being used to treat fever, cold-related headache, cough, thirst, certain inflammation including sore throat, skin infection, and tumor necrosis.[161]

The antiviral action of loniflavone, a compound found in Lonicera japonica, has been investigated in computational studies, in which the ability of this compound to bind with high affinity to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 has been demonstrated, an early step towards drug development for the disease that virus causes.[162]

Lonicera japonica contains methyl caffeate, 3,4-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, methyl 3,4-di-O-caffeoylquinate, protocatechuic acid, methyl chlorogenic acid, and luteolin. The two biflavonoids, 3′-O-methyl loniflavone and loniflavone, along with luteolin and chrysin, can be isolated from the leaves.[163] Other phenolic compounds present in the plant are hyperoside, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid.[164] The two secoiridoid glycosides, loniceracetalide A and loniceracetalide B, can be isolated, together with 10 known iridoid glycosides, from the flower buds.[165] The plant also contains the saponins loniceroside A and loniceroside B[166] and the antiinflammatory loniceroside C.[167]

Lophatherum gracile[edit | edit source]

Lycium barbarum[edit | edit source]

Because of its claimed benefits as a drug of traditional medicine, the chemicals present in the fruit, root, and other parts of the plants have been studied in some detail.[168][169]

The main compounds in the fruit (23% of the dry mass) are polysaccharides and proteoglycans. Carotenoid pigments are the second major group, chiefly zeaxanthin palmitic acid (dipalmitate). The fruits further contain vitamins, in particular riboflavin, thiamin and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), the latter in a concentration similar to that in lemons. Other detected compounds include flavonoids derived from myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol; hexadecanoic acid, linoleic acid, β-elemene, myristic acid and ethyl hexadecanoate; and some glycerogalactolipids. The fruit further contains 1–2.7% of free amino acids; chiefly proline, and including gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and trimethylglycine (betaine). Other compounds include β-sitosterol, scopoletin, p-coumaric acid, lyciumide A and L-monomenthyl succinate. The alkaloid atropine, common in plants of the family Solanaceae, is not detectable.[168]

The compounds present in the roots have been less studied, but they include trimethylglycine (betaine), choline, linoleic acid, and β-sitosterol [79]. Of particular interest are cyclic oligopeptides with 8 amino acid rings, christened lyciumin A and lyciumin B.[168]

The leaves are known to contain the flavonoids quercetin 3-O-rutinoside-7-O-glucoside, kaempferol 3-O-rutinoside-7-O-glucoside, rutin, nicotiflorin, isoquercitrin, quercetin, kaempferol damascenone, choline, scopoletin, vanillic acid, salicylic acid, and nicotinic acid. From the flowers, diosgenin, β-sitosterol, and lanosterol have been isolated.[168]

Lycium europaeum[edit | edit source]

Lycium europaeum, the European tea tree, European box-thorn, or European matrimony-vine, is a species of flowering plant in the family Solanaceae.[170] It is native to the entire Mediterranean region, and has been introduced to the Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Balearic Islands.[171] Its fruit is edible.[172]

Magnolia grandiflora[edit | edit source]

Magnolia officinalis[edit | edit source]

The aromatic bark contains magnolol, honokiol, 4-O-methylhonokiol, and obovatol.[173][174][175][176][177][178] Magnolol[179] and honokiol[180] activate the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma.

Magnolol is an organic compound, classified as lignan, a bioactive compound found in the bark of the Houpu magnolia (Magnolia officinalis) or in Magnolia grandiflora.[181]

Mahonia aquifolium[edit | edit source]

Family: Berberidaceae.

Berberine is found in Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon grape).[182]

Mucuna pruriens[edit | edit source]

Matricaria recutita[edit | edit source]

Melaleuca alternifolia[edit | edit source]

Family: Myrtaceae.

Melaleuca alternifolia is notable for its essential oil (tea tree oil) which is both an antifungal medication and antibiotic,[183] while safely usable for topical applications.[184] This is produced on a commercial scale and marketed as tea tree oil.[185]

Melaleuca cajuputi[edit | edit source]

Melaleuca cajuputi is used to produce a similar oil, known as cajuput oil, which is used in Southeast Asia to treat a variety of infections and to add fragrance to food and soaps.[186]

Mentha × piperita[edit | edit source]

A peppermint flower pot is shown on the terrace in New Belgrade, Serbia. Credit: VS6507.{{free media}}

Family: Lamiaceae.

Peppermint (Mentha × piperita, also known as Mentha balsamea Wild)[187] is a hybrid mint, a cross between Mentha aquatica (watermint) and Mentha spicata (spearmint).[188] Indigenous to Europe and the Middle East,[189] the plant is now widely spread and cultivated in many regions of the world.[190] It is occasionally found in the wild with its parent species.[190][191]

Peppermint essential oil has a high menthol content, also contains menthone and carboxyl esters, particularly menthyl acetate.[192] Dried peppermint typically has 0.3–0.4% of volatile oil containing menthol (7–48%), menthone (20–46%), menthyl acetate (3–10%), menthofuran (1–17%) and 1,8-cineol (3–6%). Peppermint oil also contains small amounts of many additional compounds including limonene, pulegone, caryophyllene and pinene.[193]

Peppermint contains terpenoids and flavonoids such as eriocitrin, hesperidin, and kaempferol 7-O-rutinoside.[194]

Peppermint oil has a high concentration of natural pesticides, mainly pulegone (found mainly in Mentha arvensis var. piperascens cornmint, field mint, Japanese mint, and to a lesser extent (6,530 ppm) in Mentha × piperita subsp. notho[195]) and menthone.[196] It is known to repel some pest insects, including mosquitos, and has uses in organic gardening. It is also widely used to repel rodents.[197][198][199][200]

The chemical composition of the essential oil from peppermint (Mentha × piperita L.) was analyzed by Flame ionization detector (GC/FID) and Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS}: menthol (40.7%) and menthone (23.4%), (±)-menthyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, limonene, beta-pinene, and beta-caryophyllene.[201]

The Herbal Tea "Cold & Flu Time" contains: Chinese honeysuckle, mulberry leaf, lophatherum, pueraria root, peppermint, licorice root, orange peel, from the box "INGREDIENTS".

Mitragyna speciosa[edit | edit source]

Mitragyna speciosa leaves are featured. Credit: Uomo vitruviano.{{free media}}

Mitragyna speciosa (commonly known as kratom[202]) is a tropical evergreen tree in the Rubiaceae (coffee family) native to Southeast Asia, indigenous to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea,[203] where it has been used in herbal medicine since at least the nineteenth century.[204] Kratom has opioid properties and some stimulant-like effects.[205][206]

Momordica charantia[edit | edit source]

Bitter melon is Momordica charantia. Credit: David Monniaux.{{free media}}

Family: Cucurbitaceae.

Morus alba[edit | edit source]

Various extracts from Morus alba including kuwanon G, moracin M, steppogenin-4′-O-β-D-glucoside and mulberroside A have been suggested as having a variety of potentially-useful medical effects.[207][208][209][210][211][212][213][214][215][216][217] Cyanidin-3-O-beta-ᴅ-glucopyranoside and Sanggenon G extracted from Morus alba were studied in animals models for some effects on the central nervous system, but clinical trials are necessary to confirm the effects.[218]

Morus alba is a traditional Chinese medicine that contains alkaloids and flavonoids that are bioactive compounds.[219][220] Studies have shown that these compounds may help reduce high cholesterol, obesity, and stress.[221]

Morus indica[edit | edit source]

Morus indica is often grown for its medicinal properties. As with most berries, the mulberries of M. indica have potent antioxidant properties.[222] The primary medicinal use of Morus indica is as a method of regulating blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. Multiple studies in humans and mice have found that the use of Morus indica lowered the blood glucose levels of diabetics through multiple different pathways.[222][223][224]

Morus mongolica[edit | edit source]

Morus mongolica is known to have multiple flavonoid and phenolic compounds.[225][226][227][228] These compounds can be found in the fruits,[227] leaves,[226] and bark.[229]

Morus nigra[edit | edit source]

A full-grown shahtoot is shown. Credit: Ayda D{{free media}}

Morus, a genus of flowering plants in the family Moraceae, consists of diverse species of deciduous trees commonly known as mulberries, growing wild and under cultivation in many temperate world regions.[230][231][232] Generally, the genus has three well-known species ostensibly named for the fruit color of the best-known cultivar: white, red, and black mulberry (Morus alba, M. rubra, and M. nigra, respectively), with numerous cultivars,[233][234] The name "white mulberry" came about because the first specimens named by European taxonomists were a cultivated mutation prized for their white fruit, but wild trees bear black fruit like other mulberries. White mulberry is native to South Asia, but is widely distributed across Europe, Southern Africa, South America, and North America.[231] Morus alba is regarded as an invasive species in Brazil and the United States.[231]

The closely related genus Broussonetia is also commonly known as mulberry, notably the paper mulberry, Broussonetia papyrifera.[235]

The fruit and leaves are sold in various forms as dietary supplements. Unripe fruit and green parts of the plant have a white sap that may be toxic, stimulating, or mildly hallucinogenic.[236]

Mulberry fruit color derives from anthocyanins,[232] which have unknown effects in humans.[237] Anthocyanins are responsible for the attractive colors of fresh plant foods, including orange, red, purple, black, and blue.[237] These colors are water-soluble and easily extractable, yielding natural food colorants.[231] Due to a growing demand for natural food colorants, they have numerous applications in the food industry.[232][237]

Morus nigra, called black mulberry[238] or blackberry (not to be confused with the blackberries that are various species of Rubus),[239] is a species of flowering plant that is native to southwestern Asia and the Iberian Peninsula, where it has been cultivated for so long that its precise natural range is unknown.[240] The black mulberry is known for its large number of chromosomes, 308 (44x ploidy).[241]

Muira puama[edit | edit source]

Family: Olacaceae, genus Ptychopetalum.

Osmanthus fragrans[edit | edit source]

Family: Oleaceae.

Osmanthus fragrans, variously known as sweet osmanthus, sweet olive, tea olive, and fragrant olive, is a species native to Asia from the Himalayas through southern China (Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan) to Taiwan, southern Japan and Southeast Asia as far south as Cambodia and Thailand.[242][243][244][245]

Osmanthus tea has been used as an herbal tea for the treatment of irregular menstruation.[246] The extract of dried flowers showed neuroprotective, free-radical scavenging, antioxidative effects in in vitro assays.[247]

Panax ginseng[edit | edit source]

Family: Araliaceae.

Phellodendron amurense[edit | edit source]

Family: Rutaceae.

Berberine is found in Phellodendron amurense (Amur cork tree).[248]

Prunus avium[edit | edit source]

Sweet cherry.

Prunus cerasus[edit | edit source]

Ripe sour cherries are shown on a branch. Credit: Rklz2{{free media}}

Family: Rosaceae.

Prunus cerasus (sour cherry,[249] tart cherry, or dwarf cherry[17]) a species of Prunus in the subgenus Prunus subg. Cerasus (cherries), native to much of Europe and southwest Asia is closely related to the sweet cherry (Prunus avium), but has a fruit that is more acidic. Its sour pulp is edible.[250]

There are two main varieties (groups of cultivars) of the sour cherry: the dark-red Morello cherry and the lighter-red Amarelle cherry.[251]

"Fruits of sour cherry (P cerasus L) cv Amarena Mattarello (AM), Visciola Ninno (VN), and Visciola Sannicandro (VS) (genotypes from the local germplasm) were picked up in June 2003 on a local experimental field (Bari, Italy)."[252]

Anthocyanins: "Cyanidin 3-glucosylrutinoside, cyanidin 3-sophoroside, cyanidin 3-rutinoside, and cyanidin 3-glucoside were identified as major components in the analyzed samples in agreement with the findings previously reported in the literature [4]."[252]

Pueraria mirifica[edit | edit source]

Pueraria tuberosa[edit | edit source]

Rosa canina[edit | edit source]

Family: Rosaceae.

Rose hips can be eaten raw, like berries, if care is taken to avoid the hairs inside the fruit. The hairs are used as itching powder.[253]

Wild rose hip fruits are particularly rich in vitamin C, containing 426 mg per 100 g[254] or 0.4% by weight (w/w). However, RP-HPLC assays of fresh rose hips and several commercially available products revealed a wide range of L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) content, ranging from 0.03 to 1.3%.[255]

Rose hips contain the carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene, which are under basic research for a variety of potential biological roles.[256][257] A meta-analysis of human studies examining the potential for rose hip extracts to reduce arthritis pain concluded there was a small effect requiring further analysis of safety and efficacy in clinical trials.[258] Use of rose hips is not considered an effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis.[259]

Rubus allegheniensis[edit | edit source]

Family: Rosaceae.

Blackberries contain numerous phytochemicals including polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, salicylic acid, ellagic acid, and fiber.[260][261] Anthocyanins in blackberries are responsible for their rich dark color. One report placed blackberries at the top of more than 1,000 polyphenol-rich foods consumed in the United States,[262] but this concept of a health benefit from consuming darkly colored foods like blackberries remains scientifically unverified and not accepted for health claims on food labels.[263]

Scutellaria baicalensis[edit | edit source]

Family: Lamiaceae.

The main compounds responsible for the biological activity of skullcap are flavonoids.[264] Baicalein, one of the important Scutellaria flavonoids, was shown to have cardiovascular effects in in vitro.[265] Research also shows that Scutellaria root modulates inflammatory activity in vitro to inhibit nitric oxide (NO), cytokine, chemokine and growth factor production in macrophages.[266] Isolated chemical compounds including wogonin, wogonoside, and 3,5,7,2',6'-pentahydroxyl flavanone found in Scutellaria have been shown to inhibit histamine and leukotriene release.[267] Other active constituents include baicalin, apigenin, oroxylin A, scutellarein, and skullcapflavone.[268]

A variety of flavonoids in Scutellaria species have been found to bind to the benzodiazepine site and/or a non-benzodiazepine site of the GABAA receptor, including baicalin, baicalein, wogonin, apigenin, oroxylin A, scutellarein, and skullcapflavone II.[269][270][271] Baicalin and baicalein,[271][272][273][274] wogonin,[275] and apigenin[276] have been confirmed to act as positive allosteric modulators and produce anxiolytic effects in animals, whereas oroxylin A acts as a negative allosteric modulator (and also, notably, as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor).[277][278][279] As such, these compounds and actions, save oroxylin A, are likely to underlie the anxiolytic effects of Scutellaria species.[280]

Scutellaria also contains rosmarinic acid which inhibits GABA transaminase which breaks GABA down, thus making it available longer.[281]

Senna alexandrina[edit | edit source]

Silybum marianum[edit | edit source]

Taxandria parviceps[edit | edit source]

Family: Myrtaceae.

Taxandria parviceps, commonly known as tea tree,[282] is a shrub species that grows on the south west coast of Western Australia.[283] This plant was previously classified as Agonis parviceps but is now part of the Taxandria genus.

Theobroma cacao[edit | edit source]

Family: Malvaceae.

Cocoa contains various phytochemicals, such as flavanols (including epicatechin), procyanidins, and other flavanoids. A systematic review presented moderate evidence that the use of flavanol-rich chocolate and cocoa products causes a small (2 mmHg) blood pressure lowering effect in healthy adults—mostly in the short term.[284]

The highest levels of cocoa flavanols are found in raw cocoa and to a lesser extent, dark chocolate, since flavonoids degrade during cooking used to make chocolate.[285] Cocoa also contains the stimulant compounds theobromine and caffeine. The beans contain between 0.1% and 0.7% caffeine, whereas dry coffee beans are about 1.2% caffeine.[286]

"Cocoa is rich in polyphenols that have beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease.22 In cocoa, the polyphenols of particular interest are flavanols, a subclass of flavonoids, which are in turn a subclass of polyphenols. Cocoa is more than 10% flavanol by weight. Flavanols can be monomeric: in cocoa beans these are mainly (−)-epicatechin and (+)-catechin, dimeric (consisting of 2 units of epicatechin with differing linkages), or polymeric (combinations of monomers and chains of up to 10 units or more have been found). These polymers are known as procyanidins.1, 7, 16, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30"[287]

Tinospora cordifolia[edit | edit source]

Family Menispermaceae.

Berberine is found in Tinospora cordifolia.

Tribulus terrestris[edit | edit source]

Family Zygophyllaceae.

Phytochemicals of T. terrestris include steroidal saponins.[288]

Uncaria rhynchophylla[edit | edit source]

Chemical structure is of rhynchophylline. Credit: Meodipt.{{free media}}

Rhynchophylline (methyl (7β,16E,20α)-16-(methoxymethylene)-2-oxocorynoxan-17-oate), methyl (2E)-2-[(1′R,6′R,7′S,8a′S)-6′-ethyl-2-oxo-1,2,2′,3′,6′,7′,8′,8a′-octahydro-5′H-spiro[indole-3,1′-indolizin]-7′-yl]-3-methoxyprop-2-enoate, is an alkaloid found in certain Uncaria species (Rubiaceae), notably Uncaria rhynchophylla[289] and Uncaria tomentosa.[290] It also occurs in the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa [family Rubiaceae] (kratom),[291] a tree native to Thailand. Chemically, it is related to the alkaloid mitragynine.

Rhynchophylline is a non-competitive NMDA antagonist (IC50 = 43.2 μM) and a calcium channel blocker.[292][293]

Uncaria species have had a variety of uses in traditional herbal medicine, such as for lightheadedness, convulsions, numbness, and hypertension.[294] These uses have been associated with the presence of rhynchophylline and have encouraged its investigation as a drug candidate for several cardiovascular and central nervous system diseases; however, few clinically relevant studies have been conducted.[294]

Uncaria tomentosa[edit | edit source]

Chemical structure is of oxindole. Credit: Edgar181.{{free media}}
Skeletal formula is of sitosterol. Credit: Mysid.{{free media}}

Uncaria tomentosa is a woody vine found in the tropical jungles of South and Central America, known as cat's claw or uña de gato in Spanish because of its claw-shaped thorns.[295][296] The plant root bark is used in herbalism for a variety of ailments, and is sold as a dietary supplement.[296][297][298]

Phytochemicals in Uncaria tomentosa root bark include oxindole and indole alkaloids, glycosides, organic acids, proanthocyanidins, sterols, and triterpenes, tannins, polyphenols, catechins, and beta-sitosterol.[297][299][300] It also contains rhynchophylline.

Individuals allergic to plants in the family Rubiaceae and different species of Uncaria may be more likely to have adverse reactions to cat's claw.[298][299] Reactions can include itching, rash and allergic inflammation of the kidneys. People requiring anticoagulant therapy should not use cat's claw.[296][299] Phytochemicals in cat’s claw may inhibit the liver enzyme, Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), which oxidizes organic compounds, and may interfere with the intended effect of prescription drugs.[300]

β-sitosterol is widely distributed in the plant kingdom and found in vegetable oil, nuts, avocados and prepared foods, such as salad dressings.[301]

Valeriana officinalis[edit | edit source]

Family Caprifoliaceae.

Alkaloids[edit | edit source]

Actinidine,[302] chatinine,[302][303] shyanthine,[302] valerianine,[302] and valerine[302]

Flavanones[edit | edit source]

Flavanones: hesperidin,[304] 6-methylapigenin,[304] and linarin[305] occur in Valerian.

Veratrum grandiflorum[edit | edit source]

Veratrum is a genus of flowering plants in the family Melanthiaceae.[306] It occurs in damp habitats across much of temperate and subarctic Europe, Asia, and North America.[307][308][309][310][311]

Veratrum species are vigorous herbaceous perennials with highly poisonous black rhizomes, and panicles of white or brown flowers on erect stems.[312] In English they are known as both false hellebores and corn lilies. However, Veratrum is not closely related to hellebores, corn, or lilies.

"First isolated from Veratrum grandiflorum by Takaoka in the 1940s [19], [resveratrol (RSV, 3,4′,5-trihydroxystilbene)] RSV is found in food sources such as fruits, vegetables, and chocolate, and is better known as a constituent of grapes and wines, although it is present in only minimal quantities [18,20]. Due to its presence in wine, RSV attracted attention in the early 1990s to explain "the French paradox", which suggested that people from France had a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease despite their high intake of saturated fats, presumably as a result of moderate red wine consumption [21]."[313]

Withania somnifera[edit | edit source]

Family Solanaceae.

The main phytochemical constituents in ashwagandha are withanolides – which are triterpene lactones – withaferin A, alkaloids, steroidal lactones, tropine, and cuscohygrine.[314] Some 40 withanolides, 12 alkaloids, and numerous sitoindosides have been isolated.[314] Withanolides are structurally similar to the ginsenosides of Panax ginseng, leading to a common name for W. somnifera, "Indian ginseng".[314]

Wollemia nobilis[edit | edit source]

A NPWS firefighter looks up at one of the ancient Wollemi pines discovered in 1994 he has been sent in to protect. Credit: NPWS firefighter.{{fairuse}}

Wollemia is a genus of coniferous trees in the family Araucariaceae.

"Desperate efforts by firefighters on the ground and in the air have saved the only known natural grove of the world-famous Wollemi pines from destruction during the record-breaking bushfires in NSW."[315]

"The rescue mission involved water-bombing aircraft and large air tankers dropping fire retardant. Helicopters also winched specialist firefighters into the remote gorge to set up an irrigation system to increase the moisture content of the ground fuels to slow the advance of any fire."[315]

"Wollemi National Park is the only place in the world where these trees are found in the wild and, with less than 200 left, we knew we needed to do everything we could to save them."[316]

"Fossil evidence indicates that the trees existed between 200 and 100 million years ago and were once present across the whole of Australia."[317]

Xanthorhiza simplicissima[edit | edit source]

Family: Ranunculaceae.

Berberine is found Xanthorhiza simplicissima (yellowroot).[318]

Zanthoxylum[edit | edit source]

Family Rutaceae.

Historically, Zanthoxylum (Prickly ash) bark was used in traditional medicine.[319]

Species identified in Nigeria contains several types of alkaloids including benzophenanthridines (nitidine, dihydronitidine, oxynitidine, fagaronine, dihydroavicine, chelerythrine, dihydrochelerythrine, methoxychelerythrine, norchelerythrine, oxychelerythrine, decarine and fagaridine), furoquinolines (dictamine, 8-methoxydictamine, skimmianine, 3-dimethylallyl-4-methoxy-2-quinolone), carbazoles (3-methoxycarbazole, glycozoline), aporphines (berberine, tembetarine,[320] magnoflorine, M-methyl-corydine), canthinones (6-canthinone), acridones (1-hydroxy-3-methoxy-10-methylacridon-9-one, 1-hydroxy-10-methylacridon-9-one, zanthozolin), and aromatic and aliphatic amides.[321] Hydroxy-alpha sanshool is a bioactive component of plants from the genus Zanthoxylum, including the Sichuan pepper.

Aporphines[edit | edit source]

Aporphines include berberine and tembetarine found in Prickly ash bark.[320]

Benzophenanthridines[edit | edit source]

Benzophenanthridines incude nitidine, dihydronitidine, oxynitidine, fagaronine, dihydroavicine, chelerythrine, dihydrochelerythrine, methoxychelerythrine, norchelerythrine, oxychelerythrine, decarine and fagaridine found in Prickly ash bark.[320]

Carbazoles[edit | edit source]

Carbazoles include 3-methoxycarbazole and glycozoline found in Prickly ash bark.[320]

Furoquinolines[edit | edit source]

Furoquinolines include dictamine, 8-methoxydictamine, skimmianine, and 3-dimethylallyl-4-methoxy-2-quinolone found in Prickly ash bark.[320]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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