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Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2012 May 21
The genus Commiphora: A review of its traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology.
Shen T,   Li GH,   Wang XN,   Lou HX  

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: The resinous exudates of the Commiphora species, known as 'myrrh', are used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of trauma, arthritis, fractures and diseases caused by blood stagnation. Myrrh has also been used in the Ayurvedic medical system because of its therapeutic effects against inflammatory diseases, coronary artery diseases, gynecological disease, obesity, etc. AIM OF THE REVIEW: Based on a comprehensive review of traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacological and toxicological data on the genus Commiphora, opportunities for the future research and development as well as the genus' therapeutic potential are analyzed. METHODS: Information on the Commiphora species was collected via electronic search (using Pubmed, SciFinder, Scirus, Google Scholar and Web of Science) and a library search for articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Furthermore, information also was obtained from some local books on ethnopharmacology. This paper covers the literature, primarily pharmacological, from 2000 to the end of December 2011. RESULTS: The resinous exudates from the bark of plants of the genus Commiphora are important indigenous medicines, and have a long medicinal application for arthritis, hyperlipidemia, pain, wounds, fractures, blood stagnation, in Ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and other indigenous medical systems. Phytochemical investigation of this genus has resulted in identification of more than 300 secondary metabolites. The isolated metabolites and crude extract have exhibited a wide of in vitro and in vivo pharmacological effects, including antiproliferative, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. The bioactive steroids guggulsterones have attracted most attention for their potent hypolipidemic effect targeting farnesoid X receptor, as well as their potent inhibitory effects on tumor cells and anti-inflammatory efficiency. CONCLUSIONS: The resins of Commiphora species have emerged as a good source of the traditional medicines for the treatment of inflammation, arthritis, obesity, microbial infection, wound, pain, fractures, tumor and gastrointestinal diseases. The resin of C. mukul in India and that of C. molmol in Egypt have been developed as anti-hyperlipidemia and antischistosomal agents. Pharmacological results have validated the use of this genus in the traditional medicines. Some bioassays are difficult to reproduce because the plant materials used have not been well identified, therefore analytical protocol and standardization of extracts should be established prior to biological evaluation. Stem, bark and leaf of this genus should receive more attention. Expansion of research materials would provide more opportunities for the discovery of new bioactive principles from the genus Commiphora. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

DHARA ID: D053391 Pubmed ID: 22626923

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