A review on the traditional uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacology of the genus Veronicastrum (Plantaginaceae)

Publication Name

Journal of Ethnopharmacology


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Veronicastrum Heist. ex Fabr. (Plantaginaceae) is a multifunctional plant in China and other parts of the continent. It has traditionally been used in the treatment of ascites, edema, blood stasis, pain relief, chronic nephritis injury, fever, cough, headache, arthritis, dysentery, rheumatism, pleural effusion, liver damage, and other disorders. Although research has confirmed that the genus Veronicastrum contain many active compounds, no review of its traditional uses, phytochemistry or pharmacology has been conducted to date. Aim: This review aims to systematically evaluate the traditional uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacology of the genus Veronicastrum, discuss its medicinal potential, modern scientific research, and the relationship between them, and put forward some suggestions to promote further development and utilization of Veronicastrum. Materials and methods: The traditional uses, phytochemical and pharmacological data related to the genus Veronicastrum from 1955 to date was compiled by surveying the ethnomedicinal books and published papers, and searching the online databases including Google Scholar, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Science Direct, Web of Science and World Flora Online. Results: Species of the genus Veronicastrum are widely used in folkloric medicine and some of their uses have been confirmed in modern pharmacological activities. A total of 89 chemical constituents have been isolated from the genus Veronicastrum, including flavonoids, carbohydrates, iridoids, terpenoids, phytosterols, phenolic acids, and other constituents. Among the compounds isolated, iridoids, flavonoids, and terpenoids are responsible for the biological activities of this genus with significant pharmacological activities both in vitro and in vivo. The extracts and compounds isolated from this genus have been reported to contain a wide range of pharmacological activities such as immunosuppressive, antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, gastro protective, and antimicrobial activity. Conclusion: The genus Veronicastrum is not only a great herbal remedy, but also has numerous bioactive chemicals with potential for new drug discovery. In the literature, phytochemical investigations have been undertaken on five species. Detailed scientific research is still needed to fully understand this genus. Furthermore, its bioactive chemicals' structure-activity connection, in vivo activity, and mechanism of action ought to be investigated further.

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National Natural Science Foundation of China



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