Ethnopharmacological relevance: The genus Vanda (Family: Orchidaceae) comprises about 73 species mainly distributed in Southeast Asia. Plants belonging to this genus are being used in the traditional medicine systems in Asian countries specially in India, Nepal, China and Bangladesh.
Aim of the review: The aim of this work was to review the scientific work about medicinal orchids of the genus Vanda regarding their traditional uses, reported bioactive components, and pharmacological activities.
Materials and methods: The information related to traditional uses, pharmacological activities, and bioactive compounds was systematically collected from the scientific literature databases including SciFinder, Scopus, PubMed and Google Scholar, published books and conference proceedings.
Results: The literature survey revealed diverse traditional uses of different species of Vanda, mainly against indigestion, wounds, hepatitis, dyspepsia, bronchitis, piles, rheumatism, and bone fracture. However, only few of them are investigated scientifically for their chemical constituents and pharmacological activities. Bioactive compounds including eucomic acid derivatives, phenanthrene derivatives and other phenolic compounds are reported from Vanda species. Different extracts were so far evaluated for number of pharmacological activities including neuroprotective, anti-aging, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, membrane stabilizing, wound healing and hepato-protective activities.
Conclusion: Vanda spp. are of much significance as ornamental flowers, but also used widely in traditional medicines and have potential for their diverse pharmacological activities. However, many members of the genus Vanda need further detailed studies regarding chemical constituents and mechanism-based pharmacological activities. Similarly, further studies should also focus on the conservation, cultivation and sustainable utilization of these species.
Keywords: Anti-aging; Bioactive constituents; Orchidaceae; Traditional uses; Vanda.
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