The genus Hosta (Liliaceae family) represents an interesting source of natural bio-constituents, and the 50 species of this genus are widespread in the world. Five species have been used as traditional East Asian medicines for treating inflammation and pain-related diseases. However, the available data for this genus have not been comprehensively reviewed regarding their extracts and secondary metabolites.
Aim of the study
The present review aims to provide a deeper insight, better awareness and detailed knowledge of traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacology along with toxicological aspects of the genus Hosta in the past decades (February 1964 to August 2020). In addition, the relevance among traditional uses, pharmacology and phytochemistry in folk medicines were extensively discussed.
Materials and methods
The relevant information of Hosta species was obtained from several databases. Moreover, the medical books, PhD and MSc dissertations in Chinese were also used to perform this work.
Comprehensive analysis of the afore-mentioned databases, medical books and dissertations confirmed that ethnomedical uses of Hosta genus plants had been recorded in China, Japan, Korea and other countries. To date, only eight species have been studied for chemical constituents, and a total of 200 secondary metabolites (not include essential oil constituents), including steroids, flavonoids, alkaloids, furan derivatives, phenylpropanoids, phenethyl derivatives, terpenoids, aliphatics, and others. The crude extracts and isolated chemical constituents exhibited anti-inflammatory and analgesic, antioxidant, anti-tumor, anti-viral, acetylcholinesterase inhibitory, antimicrobial, anti-chronic prostatitis, and other effects. Moreover, only the n-butanol fraction of H. ventricosa (Salisb.) Stearn roots showed moderate acute toxicity in mice. In addition, the relevance among traditional uses, pharmacology and phytochemistry in folk medicines were extensively discussed.
Hosta spp. are plants rich in steroids and flavonoids with valuable medicinal properties; though, there are several gaps in understanding the traditional uses in the current available data. More high scientific quality preclinical studies with new methodology are necessary to assess the safety, efficacy and mechanism of these plants.