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Ophiopogon japonicus-A phytochemical, ethnomedicinal and pharmacological review
Chen MH1; Chen XJ1,2; Wang M2; Lin LG1; Wang YT1
Source PublicationJournal of Ethnopharmacology


Ophiopogonis Radix (Maidong in Chinese), the root of Ophiopogon japonicus, is widely used in local medicines of China, Japan and some south-eastern Asian countries. According to the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) principle, Ophiopogonis Radix nourishes the yin, promotes body fluid production, moistens the lung, eases the mind and clears away heart fire. This review summarizes the achievements of the investigations in botany, phytochemistry, quality control, traditional uses, pharmacological activities and clinical studies on O. japonicus; this review also describes the shortcomings of studies on this herbal drug and thus serves as the basis of further scientific research and development of this traditional herbal drug.


O. japonicus-related information was collected from various resources, including books on Chinese herbs and the Internet databases, such as Google Scholar, SciFinder, Web of Science, Elsevier, ACS, PubMed and China Knowledge Resource Integrated (CNKI).


O. japonicus is widely distributed in East Asia, especially in China. Numerous compounds were identified from this plant. The main components of O. japonicus include steroidal saponins, homoisoflavonoids and polysaccharides, which exhibited various pharmacological activities, such as cardiovascular protection, anti-inflammation, anticancer, anti-oxidation, immunomodulation, cough relief, antimicrobial, and anti-diabetes.


O. japonicus is a common traditional Chinese herbal drug used as the main ingredient in many prescriptions. Modern researches verified that O. japonicus can be used either as a healthy food or a therapeutic agent for disease prevention and treatment. The molecular mechanisms and chemical principles of this herbal medicine should be further explored.

Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

KeywordEthnopharmacology Pharmacology Phytochemistry Quality Control Ophiopogon Japonicus
Indexed BySCI
WOS Research AreaPlant Sciences ; Pharmacology & Pharmacy ; Integrative & Complementary Medicine
WOS SubjectPlant Sciences ; Chemistry, Medicinal ; Integrative & Complementary Medicine ; Pharmacology & Pharmacy
WOS IDWOS:000372761500016
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Cited Times [WOS]:54   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document TypeJournal article
CollectionInstitute of Chinese Medical Sciences
Corresponding AuthorLin LG; Wang YT
Affiliation1.State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macao, China
2.Sino-Dutch Center for Preventive and Personalized Medicine/Leiden Amsterdam Center for Drug Research (LACDR), Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands
First Author AffilicationInstitute of Chinese Medical Sciences
Corresponding Author AffilicationInstitute of Chinese Medical Sciences
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Chen MH,Chen XJ,Wang M,et al. Ophiopogon japonicus-A phytochemical, ethnomedicinal and pharmacological review[J]. Journal of Ethnopharmacology,2016,181:193-213.
APA Chen MH,Chen XJ,Wang M,Lin LG,&Wang YT.(2016).Ophiopogon japonicus-A phytochemical, ethnomedicinal and pharmacological review.Journal of Ethnopharmacology,181,193-213.
MLA Chen MH,et al."Ophiopogon japonicus-A phytochemical, ethnomedicinal and pharmacological review".Journal of Ethnopharmacology 181(2016):193-213.
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