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Concept: Pharmacognosy


ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Zataria multiflora Boiss. (ZM) is a thyme-like plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family that grows wild only in Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. This plant with the vernacular name of Avishan-e-Shirazi (Shirazi thyme) in Iran is a valuable medicinal and condimental plant. It has several traditional uses as an antiseptic, carminative, stimulant, diaphoretic, diuretic, anesthetic, anti-spasmodic and analgesic. AIM OF THE STUDY: This paper reviews the ethnopharmacology, pharmacology, toxicology, modern pharmaceutical uses and phytochemistry of Zataria multiflora, and highlights the gaps in our knowledge deserving further research. METHODS: All relevant databases were searched for the terms “Zataria”, “Zataria multiflora”, “Shirazi thyme” and “Iranian thyme” without limitation up to 24th October 2012. Information on Zataria multiflora was collected via electronic search using Pubmed, Scopus, Web of Science and SID (for articles in Persian language), and local books on ethnopharmacology. RESULTS: ZM has played an important role in Iranian traditional medicine. In light of the modern pharmacological and clinical investigations, ZM is a valuable medicinal and condimental plant that has anti-microbial, antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic and anti-nociceptive properties. The oil of ZM contains high percentages of oxygenated monoterpenes, in particular thymol and carvacrol, and exhibits excellent anti-microbial properties. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, antimicrobial property appears to be the most interesting studied biological effect of ZM. The lack of a comprehensive phytochemical analysis of ZM is an important limitation that can be noted regarding most of the previous studies.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, Lamiaceae, Iran, Persian language, Afghanistan, Pharmacognosy, Thymol


With the recent advent of glycomics, many medically relevant glycans have been discovered. Sulfated fucans (SFs) and sulfated galactans (SGs) are one of these classes of glycans with increasing interest to both glycomics and medicine. Besides having very unique structures, some of these molecules exhibit a broad range of pharmacological actions. In certain cases, high levels of effectiveness may be reached when the proper structural requirements are found.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, Illness, Cognition, Pharmaceutical drug, Pharmacognosy


Boophone disticha is the most common member of the South African Amaryllidaceae used extensively in traditional medicine of the various indigenous population groups, including the Sotho, Xhosa and Zulu as well as the San.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Ayurveda, South Africa, Alternative medicine, Herbalism, Xhosa, Pharmacognosy, Khoisan


Mushrooms have an established history of use in traditional oriental medicine. Higher Basidiomycetes mushrooms contain biologically active compounds in fruit bodies, cultured mycelium, and cultured broth. Medicinal mushrooms possess medicinal properties such as anti-tumor, immunomodulating, antioxidant, cardiovascular, anti-hypercholesterolemic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, detoxification, hepatoprotective, and anti-diabetic effects. Several compounds isolated from medicinal mushrooms have been subjected to Phase-I, II, and III clinical trials, and are used extensively to treat various diseases including cancer. The main focus of the present review is to draw attention towards various edible, medicinal and poisonous species of mushrooms belongs to genera; Auricularia, Cantherallus, Ganoderma, Pleurotus, Lentinus, Trametes (Coriolus), Tremella and Amanita along with their chemical composition, biologically active compounds isolated and their pharmacological potential.

Concepts: Immune system, Pharmacology, Medicine, Species, Fungus, The Canon of Medicine, Mushroom, Pharmacognosy


Moringa oleifera is an interesting plant for its use in bioactive compounds. In this manuscript, we review studies concerning the cultivation and production of moringa along with genetic diversity among different accessions and populations. Different methods of propagation, establishment and cultivation are discussed. Moringa oleifera shows diversity in many characters and extensive morphological variability, which may provide a resource for its improvement. Great genetic variability is present in the natural and cultivated accessions, but no collection of cultivated and wild accessions currently exists. A germplasm bank encompassing the genetic variability present in Moringa is needed to perform breeding programmes and develop elite varieties adapted to local conditions. Alimentary and medicinal uses of moringa are reviewed, alongside the production of biodiesel. Finally, being that the leaves are the most used part of the plant, their contents in terms of bioactive compounds and their pharmacological properties are discussed. Many studies conducted on cell lines and animals seem concordant in their support for these properties. However, there are still too few studies on humans to recommend Moringa leaves as medication in the prevention or treatment of diseases. Therefore, further studies on humans are recommended.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, Cell, Agriculture, Population genetics, Genetic diversity, Moringa oleifera, Pharmacognosy


Aquilaria spp. (agarwood) has been a part of Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. Agarwood has also been used as a traditional medicine in Southeast Asian countries, Bangladesh and Tibet. Its common uses include the treatment of joint pain, inflammatory-related ailments, and diarrhoea, as well as a stimulant, sedative and cardioprotective agent. In this paper, we aim to provide an overview of the phytochemistry, ethnomedicinal use, pharmacological activities and safety of plant materials from Aquilaria spp. as an evidence base to further appraise its potential use as a source of health beneficial compounds.

Concepts: Medicine, The Canon of Medicine, Acupuncture, Alternative medicine, Pharmacy, Traditional Chinese medicine, Traditional medicine, Pharmacognosy


The genus Gaultheria, comprised of approximately 134 species, is mostly used in ethnic drugs to cure rheumatism and relieve pain. Phytochemical investigations of the genus Gaultheria have revealed the presence of methyl salicylate derivatives, C6-C3 constituents, organic acids, terpenoids, steroids, and other compounds. Methyl salicylate glycoside is considered as a characteristic ingredient in this genus, whose anti-rheumatic effects may have a new mechanism of action. In this review, comprehensive information on the phytochemistry, volatile components and the pharmacology of the genus Gaultheria is provided to explore its potential and advance research.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, Biology, Drug, Pharmaceutical drug, Terpenoid, Characteristic, Pharmacognosy


As a result of the prescription opioid epidemic in the United States, there has been an increasing need for effective treatment interventions, both pharmacological and nonpharmacological. Buprenorphine has emerged as a critical component of the treatment of opioid use disorder, yet its adoption has not been without some concerns. This article first reviews the pharmacology, clinical use, and US legislative action related to buprenorphine, followed by a discussion of the misuse and diversion of buprenorphine in the United States as well as internationally. We then explore the impact of buprenorphine abuse as well as discussing strategies for its reduction, including changes in policy, prescription and pharmacy monitoring, and continuing medical education for guiding and improving clinical practice.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, United States, Opioid, Morphine, Drug development, Pharmaceutical drug, Pharmacognosy


Origanum majorana L. commonly known as sweet marjoram has been used for variety of diseases in traditional and folklore medicines, including gastrointestinal, ocular, nasopharyngeal, respiratory, cardiac, rheumatologic, and neurological disorders. Essential oil containing monoterpene hydrocarbons and oxygenated monoterpenes as well as phenolic compounds are chemical constituents isolated and detected in O majorana Wide range of pharmacological activities including antioxidant, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, anti-platelet, gastroprotective, antibacterial and antifungal, antiprotozoal, antiatherosclerosis, anti-inflammatory, antimetastatic, antitumor, antiulcer, and anticholinesterase inhibitory activities have been reported from this plant in modern medicine. This article summarizes comprehensive information concerning traditional uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological activities of sweet marjoram.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, Lamiaceae, Essential oil, Oregano, Origanum, Marjoram, Pharmacognosy


Plants of the genus Elsholtzia (Lamiaceae) have a long history of medicinal use in folk. The phytochemical investigations revealed the presence of flavonoids, phenylpropanoids, terpenoids, and other compounds. Abundant volatile components are also identified. Pure compounds, volatile constituents and crude extracts from the genus exhibited a wide spectrum of in vitro and in vivo pharmacological activities. The aims of this review hopefully provide comprehensive information on the distribution, phytochemistry, volatile components, and pharmacological research of Elsholtzia for exploring the potential and advance researches.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, Biology, Organism, Species, In vivo, In vitro, Pharmacognosy