Chemistry, bioactivity and quality control of Dendrobium, a commonly used tonic herb in traditional Chinese medicine

Jun XU, Simon Q B HAN, Song Lin Li*, Xiao Jia Chen, Xiao Ning Wang, Zhongzhen ZHAO, Hubiao CHEN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The fresh or dried stems of many Dendrobium species are well known as one of the most expensive tonics in traditional Chinese medicine. Documented as a "superior grade" herbal medicine in the ancient text "Shen Nong's Herbal Classic", Dendrobium has been used for thousands of years and is now a popular health food worldwide. The main chemical components of Dendrobium are alkaloids, aromatic compounds, sesquiterpenoids and polysaccharides, with multiple biological activities, including immunomodulatory, neuroprotective and anti-tumor effects, etc. Various qualitative and quantitative methods have been developed for the quality evaluation of Dendrobium. In this review, the research progress since the 1930s relating to the chemistry, bioactivity and quality control of Dendrobium is summarized, existing problems and prospects are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-367
Number of pages27
JournalPhytochemistry Reviews
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Plant Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Bioactivity
  • Chemistry
  • Dendrobium
  • Quality control

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