Medicinal plants that are used today have been known by people of ancient cultures around the world and have largely been considered due to their medicinal properties. Cornus mas L. (Cornelian cherry) is one of these medicinal plants with high level of antioxidant activity. Cornelian cherry is an attractive ornamental plant with delicious fruit having nutritional and therapeutic values. The main purpose of this paper is to present and summarize the pharmacological and therapeutic effects from researches done on Cornelian cherry in studies from 2000 to 2016. Information and findings in this review were taken from electronic journals in some websites including PubMed, Elsevier, ISI, Google scholar, SID and relevant books. C. mas L. is important in terms of decoration and is used in traditional medicine to treat diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, cholera, fever, malaria, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, cancer, bleeding and heat stroke. Several studies have shown that Cornelian cherry fruit plays an important role in prevention of atherosclerosis, blood sugar, lipid profiles and reduction of fat accumulation in the liver. Cornelian cherry has antimicrobial, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer effects as well as protecting liver, kidney and cardiovascular system. Using Cornelian cherry in pharmaceutical and food industries has caused fantastic value of this plant. Pharmaceutical properties of Cornelian cherry seeds, fruits, leaves and stems have led the need of further studies to explore the other unknown effects or review mechanism of its pharmacological effects for preparation of new drugs.
Keywords: Cornelian cherry; atherosclerosis; pharmacological effects; traditional medicine.