Pharmacology and chemotaxonomy of Diospyros

Phytochemistry. 1998 Oct;49(4):901-51. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9422(97)01020-0.


Diospyros is numerically and economically the most important genus of Ebenaceae. The medicinal uses and chemical constituents of various Diospyros species are now reviewed. About 300 organic chemicals have been isolated and identified. The uniqueness of the genus is the elaboration of a large number of pentacyclic triterpenes and juglone based 1,4-naphthoquinone metabolites. These metabolites can be used as chemical markers for taxonomic studies. A common biogenetic pathway for their co-occurrence is now proposed. Various compounds are tabulated according to their classes and their structures are given in the Appendix.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal / classification*


  • Plant Extracts