Modern extraction techniques and their impact on the pharmacological profile of Serenoa repens extracts for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms

BMC Urol. 2014 Aug 11:14:63. doi: 10.1186/1471-2490-14-63.


Background: Bioactive compounds from plants (i.e., Serenoa repens) are often used in medicine in the treatment of several pathologies, among which benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) associated to lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).

Discussion: There are different techniques of extraction, also used in combination, with the aim of enhancing the amount of the target molecules, gaining time and reducing waste of solvents. However, the qualitative and quantitative composition of the bioactives depends on the extractive process, and so the brands of the recovered products from the same plant are different in terms of clinical efficacy (no product interchangeability among different commercial brands).

Summary: In this review, we report on several and recent extraction techniques and their impact on the composition/biological activity of S. repens-based available products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chemical Fractionation
  • Chromatography, Supercritical Fluid
  • Enzymes
  • Humans
  • Ionic Liquids
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / drug therapy*
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / etiology
  • Male
  • Microwaves
  • Pharmacognosy / methods*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / complications
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / drug therapy*
  • Serenoa*
  • Solvents
  • Ultrasonics


  • Enzymes
  • Ionic Liquids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Solvents