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

Si hong Ou-Yang, Tao Jiang, Lin Zhu*, Tao Yi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number57
Number of pages18
JournalChemistry Central Journal
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)

User-Defined Keywords

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


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