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Eryngium L. is the largest and arguably the most taxonomically complex genus of the family Apiaceae. The genus has approximately 250 species throughout the world, with the center of diversity in South America. Some Eryngium species are cultivated as ornamental, vegetable, or medicinal crops for folk uses. With increasing chemical and biological investigations, Eryngium has shown its potential as pharmaceutical crops. This review focuses on phytochemistry and pharmacological activities of 127 compounds isolated and identified from 23 species of Eryngium, particularly nonessential oil compounds such as terpenoids, triterpenoid saponins, flavonoids, coumarins, polyacetylenes, and steroids. Eryngium extracts or isolates have shown in vitro bioactivitities such as cytotoxicity against various human tumor cell lines, anti-inflammatory, anti-snake and scorpion venoms, antibacterial, antifungal, and antimalarial, antioxidant, and antihyperglycemic effects. In vivo studies through various animal models have also shown promising results. However, chemical constituents and their bioactivities of most species of this highly diversified genus have not been investigated. The molecular mechanism of bioactivities (particularly cytotoxicity and anti-snake and scorpion venoms) of Eryngium isolates remains elusive. Also, anti-tumor activity of polyhydroxylated triterpenoid saponins isolated from Eryngium needed to be furthur explored.


Wang, P.; Su, Z.; Yuan, W.; Deng, G.; Li, S. Phytochemical constituents and pharmacological activities of Eryngium L.(Apiaceae). Pharmaceutical Crops 2012, 3, 99-120.

Pharmaceutical Crops



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