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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    • "Icariin (C 33 H 40 O 15 ; molecular weight: 676.65, ICA) is a pharmacologically active component that was isolated from the Chinese herb Epimedium, which has been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac and antirheumatic remedy in Asia[27]. It has been reported that icariin administration improved spatial learning and memory abilities in rat models of AD, and the mechanisms may be related to its inhibitory effects on Aβ production and tau protein hyperphosphorylation28293031. "

    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · International Journal of Molecular Sciences
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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. "

    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Frontiers in Plant Science
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Phytochemistry
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