Ethnomedicinal, Phytochemical and Pharmacological Profile of Anthriscus sylvestris as an Alternative Source for Anticancer Lignans

Author(s): Olaru OT, Niţulescu GM, Orțan A, Dinu-Pîrvu CE


Anthriscus sylvestris (L.) Hoffm. is a wild herbaceous plant common in most temperate regions. It has been used traditionally to treat headaches, as a tonic, as antitussive, antipyretic, analgesic and diuretic. The plant contains deoxypodophyllotoxin, which is proven to have antitumor and anti-proliferative effects, anti-platelet aggregation, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and insecticidal activity. Deoxypodophyllotoxin is considered to be the plant's most important constituent, because of its pharmacological properties and because it can be converted into epipodophyllotoxin, the main raw material for the semisynthesis of the cytostatic agents etoposide and teniposide. This work summarizes for the first time the results related to the botanical description, distribution and habitat, phytochemical and pharmacological properties and emphasizes the aspects for future biotechnological research to establish its utility in the therapeutic arsenal.

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