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.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.