Georgian Medicinal Plants as Rich Natural Sources of Antioxidant Derivatives: A Review on the Current Knowledge and Future Perspectives

Curr Med Chem. 2024 Feb 9. doi: 10.2174/0109298673262575231127034952. Online ahead of print.


The study of antioxidants is of pivotal importance in biomedicine as these molecules could be involved in biological pathways associated with disease. The identification of new antioxidants together with the acquisition of a deeper knowledge on their biology, could lead to the use of these compounds as drugs for innovative treatments. Plants are an important source of phytodrugs that in many cases can be isolated with good extraction yields directly from the vegetal source and are often endowed with a low toxicity profile. Georgia, a country situated on the Black Sea coast in the Caucasus region at the intersection of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, is renowned for its unique woodland habitats and immense biological diversity due to the great variety of climate zones and landscapes. Many wild plants in the area are used as remedies for a number of illnesses in the local traditional medicine. However, the scientific knowledge of these sources of natural drugs and of their molecular components is still far from exhaustive. Therefore, with the present work we reviewed the scientific literature on some of the main Georgian medicinal plants and found that several species are a valuable source of hydrophilic and hydrophobic antioxidants, endowed in some cases with a high ROS-scavenging ability. The analysis of the literature also demonstrated that most of the medicinal extracts and compounds isolated from these plants are beneficial in suppressing multiple diseases in vitro. This review will provide information for scientists looking to develop secure plant-based pharmaceuticals as well as a rationale for using Georgian medicinal plants for the treatment of a range of diseases.

Keywords: Georgian medicinal plants; antioxidants; biodiversity; medicinal chemistry; natural drugs; phytomolecules; plant-based.