The genus Epimedium: An ethnopharmacological and phytochemical review

Department of Pharmacy, Lanzhou General Hospital of PLA, Lanzhou 730050, PR China.
Journal of ethnopharmacology (Impact Factor: 3). 04/2011; 134(3):519-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.01.001
Source: PubMed


Epimedium (Berberidaceae), is a genus of about 52 species in the family Berberidaceae, which also known as Rowdy Lamb Herb, Xianlinpi, Barrenwort, Bishop's Hat, Fairy Wings, Horny Goat Weed, and Yangheye or Yin Yang Huo (Chinese: ). Many plants have been proven to possess efficacy on sexual dysfunction and osteoporosis in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The paper reviews the ethnopharmacology, the biological activities and the correlated chemical compounds of Epimedium species. More than 260 compounds have been isolated; among them prenyl-flavonoids are the major constituents and also important chemotaxonomic markers. Modern pharmacology studies and clinical practice demonstrated that Epimedium and its active compounds possess wide pharmacological actions, especially in strengthening yang, hormone regulation, anti-osteoporosis, immunological function modulation, anti-oxidation and anti-tumor, anti-aging, anti-atherosclerosis and anti-depressant activities. Currently, effective monomeric compounds or active parts have been screened for pharmacological activity from Epimedium in vivo and in vitro.

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    • "More than 260 compounds have been isolated in the genus Epimedium, and among them, prenylated flavonoids are the major constituents (Ma et al., 2011). Icariin, together with epimedii A, B, and C, is used as the representative biomarker for quality evaluation and chemotaxonomy (Wu et al., 2003; Shen et al., 2007; Xie et al., 2010; Ma et al., 2011). These main BCs are phytochemically and pharmacologically well-characterized, but the existing knowledge about the biosynthetic and regulatory mechanisms of these flavonoid-derived BCs in Epimedium is still limited. "

    Frontiers in Plant Science 09/2015; 6:689. · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    • "These compounds possess potential estrogenic or anti-estrogenic activity owing to the existence of a prenyl group on C-8 (Kang et al., 2012; Ming et al., 2013; Shen et al., 2007; Yap et al., 2007). Herba Epimedii is widely used for treating sexual dysfunction and osteoporosis (Hsieh et al., 2011; Ma et al., 2011; Wu et al., 2003; Zhai et al., 2013). It has been demonstrated that the bioactive flavonol glycosides (1–4) in Epimedium are involved in regulating the NO-cGMP pathway. "
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    ABSTRACT: Different geographical plant populations within a single species can exhibit variation, in the production of secondary metabolites. Genetic and environmental variations both contribute to differences between populations; however, the relative importance of these factors is unclear. Here, the extent of variation in the production of four flavonoid glycosides (epimedin A, B, C and icariin) were investigated in eleven wild populations of Epimedium sagittatum used in traditional Chinese medicine. Secondary metabolite profiles were classified into five chemotypes. A common garden experiment indicated this chemotype variation has a significant genetic basis. Extensive genetic variation among intraspecific populations was shown using a retrotransposon-based molecular marker system. These results will assist in development of strategies for conservation, utilization and domestication of E. sagittatum. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Phytochemistry 04/2015; 116(1). DOI:10.1016/j.phytochem.2015.04.005 · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    • "). In aquaculture, microalgae have diverse uses due to their rich nutritional properties (Hemaiswarya et al, 2011) which include a high protein content, the capacity to synthesize all amino acids, the presence of carbohydrates and non-digestible polysaccharides (agar, carrageenan and alginate), lipids in the form of glycerol and fatty acids and the valuable content of many essential vitamins (A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, biotin, folic acid and pantothenic acid), minerals (phosphorous, zinc, iron, calcium, selenium, magnesium) and antioxidant substances (Borowitzka, 1997; Duerr et al, 1998). In addition, microalgae isolated components have immunostimulating properties in fish and other animals (Ortuno et al, 2000; Amar et al, 2004; Morris et al, 2007) and are major primary producers of organic matters in aquatic environments through their photosynthetic activities. "
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    ABSTRACT: Natural products are known to play important role in pharmaceutical biology and have been important source of medicine for thousands of years. Even today, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 80 percent of people still rely mainly on traditional medicines. As plants are one of the most important sources of medicines, a large numbers of drugs are derived such as morphine from Papaver somniferum, Aswagandha from Withania somnifera, Ephedrine from Ephedra vulgaris, Atropine from Atropa belladonna, Reserpine from Roulphia serpentina etc. These herbal plants are used as immunostimulants as an alternative to the drugs, chemicals and antibiotics currently is being used to control diseases. In this context, the use of medicinal plants and their originated products as potential therapeutic measures for modulating the immune response, biological and pharmacological activities to prevent and control diseases. The possible use of naturally available herbal plant such as Aloe vera, Urtica dioica and Zingiber officinale etc have been discussed.
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