Phytochemical and Biological Studies of Stachys Species in Relation to Chemotaxonomy: A Review

Phytochemistry. 2014 Jun;102:7-39. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2014.01.023. Epub 2014 Mar 21.


The genus Stachys is comprised of about 300 species spread throughout the world, hence representing one of the largest genera of the Lamiaceae. Several Stachys species have been exploited in traditional medicine as astringent, wound-healing, anti-diarrhoeal, anti-nephritic and anti-inflammatory agents. Moreover, antimicrobial, antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of some Stachys species are documented. Iridoids, flavonoids, phenolic acids and diterpenoids are reported as secondary metabolites of different species of this genus. The aim of the present review is to summarize and to highlight the recent advances in current knowledge on Stachys species and to compile reports of chemical constituents isolated from the genus Stachys over the past decades, together with their structural features, biological activities, and structure-activity relationships. Diversity of chemical constituents is discussed in relationship with current Stachys infrageneric taxonomy, classification and relationships with systematically close genera.

Keywords: Betonica; Bioactivity; Phytochemicals; Sideritis; Stachys; Taxonomy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / chemistry
  • Analgesics / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Phytochemicals* / chemistry
  • Phytochemicals* / pharmacology
  • Species Specificity
  • Stachys / chemistry*
  • Stachys / classification*


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antioxidants
  • Phytochemicals