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Natural Medicine:The Genus Angelica

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Abstract:

More than 60 species of medicinal plants belong to the genus Angelica (Family: Apiaceae). Many of these species have long been used in ancient traditional medicine systems, especially in the far-east. Various herbal preparations containing Angelica species are available over-the-counter, not only in the far-eastern countries, but also in the western countries like USA, UK, Germany, etc. For centuries, many species of this genus, e.g. A. acutiloba, A. archangelica, A. atropupurea, A. dahurica, A. japonica, A. glauca, A. gigas, A. koreana, A. sinensis, A. sylvestris, etc., have been used traditionally as anti-inflammatory, diuretic, expectorant and diaphoretic, and remedy for colds, flu, influenza, hepatitis, arthritis, indigestion, coughs, chronic bronchitis, pleurisy, typhoid, headaches, wind, fever, colic, travel sickness, rheumatism, bacterial and fungal infections and diseases of the urinary organs. Active principles isolated from these plants mainly include various types of coumarins, acetylenic compounds, chalcones, sesquiterpenes and polysaccharides. This review evaluates the importance of the genus Angelica in relation to its traditional medicinal uses, alternative medicinal uses in the modern society and potential for drug development, and summarises results of various scientific studies on Angelica species or Angelica-containing preparations for their bioactivities including, antimicrobial, anticancer, antitumour, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, etc.

Keywords: angelica; coumarin; herbal medicine; traditional medicine

Document Type: Review Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/0929867043365189

Affiliations: Phytopharmaceutical Research Laboratory, School of Pharmacy, The Robert Gordon University, Schoolhill, Aberdeen AB10 1FR, Scotland, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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