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African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines
African Ethnomedicines Network
ISSN: 0189-6016
Vol. 12, No. 6, 2015, pp. 39-70
Bioline Code: tc15113
Full paper language: English
Document type: Review Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, Vol. 12, No. 6, 2015, pp. 39-70

 en BELAMCANDA CHINENSIS check for this species in other resources (L.) DC: ETHNOPHARMACOLOGY, PHYTOCHEMISTRYAND PHARMACOLOGY OF AN IMPORTANT TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE
Xin, Rui-hua; Zheng, Ji-fang; Cheng, Long; Peng, Wen-jing & Luo, Yong-jiang

Abstract

Background: Belamcanda chinensis check for this species in other resources (L.) DC (Iridaceae), a widely used traditional Chinese medicine known as She Gan (Chinese: 射干), is a flowering perennial herb native to East Asia. For thousands of years in China, the rhizome of Belamcanda chinensis has been used to treat inflammation, oxyhepatitis, mumps, acute mastitis, and asthma, as well as throat disorders such as cough, tonsillitis and pharyngitis. Belamcanda chinensis is now listed in the Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China. The present paper reviews the advancements in the investigation of botany, ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology of Belamcanda chinensis.
Materials and Methods: Information on Belamcanda chinensis was collected from scientific journals, books, theses and reports via library and electronic search (PubMed, CNKI, Elsevier, ACS, Google Scholar, Baidu Scholar,Web of Science and Science Direct).
Results: A number of chemical compounds have been isolated from Belamcanda chinensis, and the major isolated compounds have been identified as isoflavonoids, flavonoids and iridal-type triterpenoids. Among these active compounds, the effects of tectoridin and tectorigenin have been widely investigated. The primary active components in Belamcanda chinensis possess a wide range of pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-tumour, anti-alcohol injury, cardiovascular and oestrogenic activities.
Conclusions: As an important traditional Chinese medicine, Belamcanda chinensis has been demonstrated to have marked bioactivity, especially in the respiratory system and as an oestrogenic and hepatoprotective agent. This activity is related to its traditional use and provides opportunities for the development of novel drugs and therapeutic products for various diseases. However, the toxicity of Belamcanda chinensis will require further study, and more attention should be devoted to its better utilization.

Keywords
Belamcanda chinensis; Ethnopharmacology; Phytochemistry; Pharmacology; Toxicology

 
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