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Chem Cent J. 2018 May 11;12(1):57. doi: 10.1186/s13065-018-0423-4.

Dioscorea nipponica Makino: a systematic review on its ethnobotany, phytochemical and pharmacological profiles.

Author information

1
School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China.
2
College of Chemistry, Leshan Normal College, Leshan, 614004, China.
3
School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China. linzhu912@gmail.com.
4
School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China. yitao@hkbu.edu.hk.

Abstract

Dioscorea nipponica Makino is a perennial twining herbs belonging to the family Dioscoreaceae, which is mainly distributed in the northeastern, northern, eastern and central regions of China. Traditionally, the rhizome of this herb has been commonly used by Miao and Meng ethnic groups of China to treat rheumatoid arthritis, pain in the legs and lumbar area, Kashin Beck disease, bruises, sprains, chronic bronchitis, cough and asthma. Modern pharmacological studies have discovered that this herb possesses anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-diuretic, analgesic, anti-tussive, panting-calming and phlegm-dispelling activities, along with enhancing immune function and improving cardiovascular health. In recent years, both fat-soluble and water-soluble steroidal saponins were isolated from the rhizomes of D. nipponica using silica gel column chromatography, thin layer chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography methods. Saponin and sapogenins are mainly responsible for most of the pharmacological effects of this plant. Further, the chemical components of the aboveground parts contain more than 10 kinds of phenanthrene derivatives. The present review summarizes the knowledge concerning the geographical distribution, chemical composition, pharmacological effects, toxicology studies and clinical applications of D. nipponica.

KEYWORDS:

Active ingredient; Dioscorea nipponica Makino; Geographical distribution; Pharmacological studies; Steroid saponins

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