The present review gives an overview about natural products from the holoparasitic genus Orobanche (Orobanchaceae). We cover both genuine natural products as well as compounds sequestered by Orobanche taxa from their host plants. However, the distinction between these two categories is not always easy. In cases where the respective authors had not indicated the opposite, all compounds detected in Orobanche taxa were regarded as genuine Orobanche natural products. From the about 200 species of Orobanche s.l. (i.e., including Phelipanche) known worldwide, only 26 species have so far been investigated phytochemically (22 Orobanche and four Phelipanche species), from 17 Orobanche and three Phelipanche species defined natural products (and not only natural product classes) have been reported. For two species of Orobanche and one of Phelipanche dedicated studies have been performed to analyze the phenomenon of natural product sequestration by parasitic plants from their host plants. In total, 70 presumably genuine natural products and 19 sequestered natural products have been described from Orobanche s.l.; these form the basis of 140 chemosystematic records (natural product reports per taxon). Bioactivities described for Orobanche s.l. extracts and natural products isolated from Orobanche species include in addition to antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects, e.g., analgesic, antifungal and antibacterial activities, inhibition of amyloid β aggregation, memory enhancing effects as well as anti-hypertensive effects, inhibition of blood platelet aggregation, and diuretic effects. Moreover, muscle relaxant and anti-spasmodic effects as well as anti-photoaging effects have been described.
Keywords: Lamiales; Orobanchaceae; Orobanche s.l.; bioactivities of natural products; chemosystematics; natural products; phenylethanoid glycosides; phenylpropanoid glycosides; secondary metabolites.