Mitigating digestive disorders: Action mechanisms of Mediterranean herbal active compounds

Open Life Sci. 2024 Apr 18;19(1):20220857. doi: 10.1515/biol-2022-0857. eCollection 2024.


This study explores the effects of the Mediterranean diet, herbal remedies, and their phytochemicals on various gastrointestinal conditions and reviews the global use of medicinal plants for common digestive problems. The review highlights key plants and their mechanisms of action and summarizes the latest findings on how plant-based products influence the digestive system and how they work. We searched various sources of literature and databases, including Google Scholar, PubMed, Science Direct, and MedlinePlus. Our focus was on gathering relevant papers published between 2013 and August 2023. Certain plants exhibit potential in preventing or treating digestive diseases and cancers. Notable examples include Curcuma longa, Zingiber officinale, Aloe vera, Calendula officinalis, Lavandula angustifolia, Thymus vulgaris, Rosmarinus officinalis, Ginkgo biloba, Cynodon dactylon, and Vaccinium myrtillus. The phytochemical analysis of the plants showed that compounds such as quercetin, anthocyanins, curcumin, phenolics, isoflavones glycosides, flavonoids, and saponins constitute the main active substances within these plants. These natural remedies have the potential to enhance the digestive system and alleviate pain and discomfort in patients. However, further research is imperative to comprehensively evaluate the benefits and safety of herbal medicines to use their active ingredients for the development of natural and effective drugs.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; active compounds; digestive disorders.

Publication types

  • Review