Ethnopharmacological relevance: Artemisia asiatica Nakai (Compositae) has a long history as a traditional remedy. Preparation from various parts of the plant (aerial parts and leaves) are used to treat a wide range of diseases including gastric trouble, liver dysfunction, and skin inflammation.
Aims of this review: The aims of this review were: 1) to provide an overview of recent studies and progress on A. asiatica-derived ethnopharmacological compounds and their pharmacological activities; and 2) to summarize existing evidence and provide insight for future studies.
Materials and methods: This investigation was carried out by analyzing published books and research papers via scientific databases, namely Science Direct, PubMed ACS Publication, Wiley Online Library, CNKI and information obtained online. The keywords "Artemisia asiatica traditional uses," "Compounds isolated and studied in Artemisia asiatica," and "Pharmacological advances in Artemisia asiatica" were used and articles published between 1995 and 2017 were considered. In total, 500 works related to biological activities of A. asiatica were identified, and only materials published in English were included in the review.
Results: Comparative analysis of literature searched through sources available confirmed that the ethnopharmacological use of A. asiatica was recorded in Korea, China, and Japan. Phytochemical studies revealed the presence of flavonoids, sesquiterpene lactones, monoterpenes, and steroids in A. asiatica. Of these, flavonoids have been shown to exhibit significant pharmacological effects such as gastroprotective, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and anti-microbial actions.
Conclusions: Phytochemical and pharmacological studies of Artemisia asiatica have proven that this plant is one of valuable medicinal sources with neuroprotective, gastroprotective, anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects. Although ethanol extract of this plant is now being prescribed as gastroprotective and anti-ulcerative medicine, it is now time to expand its application to other human inflammatory diseases such as pancreatitis and hepatitis and further extensive study on toxicity in human. Therefore, the present review will encourage further studies of A. asiatica in the pursuit of wide range of therapeutic remedy.
Keywords: Anti-inflammatory effect; Anti-oxidative activity; Artemisia asiatica; Chemo-protective action; Ethnopharmacological compounds; Gastroprotective effect.
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