Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 93, Issue 5, pp 1795–1803 | Cite as

Review of research on Dendrobium, a prized folk medicine

  • Tzi Bun Ng
  • Jingyi Liu
  • Jack Ho Wong
  • Xiujuan Ye
  • Stephen Cho Wing Sze
  • Yao Tong
  • Kalin Yanbo Zhang


Medicinal plants of the Dendrobium genus are highly prized, and hence, methodologies have been developed to authenticate Dendrobium drugs from its adulterants. Many bioactive constituents of Dendrobium species have been identified. The macromolecules included lectins; the enzymes chalcone synthase, sucrose synthase, and cytokinin oxidase; and polysaccharides. The polysaccharides display immunomodulatory and hepatoprotective activities. Alkaloids exhibit antioxidant, anticancer, and neuroprotective activities. Other compounds manifest antioxidant, anticancer, and immunomodulatory.


Dendrobium Constituents Bioactivity Medicinal plants 



This work was supported by grants (funding from Stanley Ho Alumni Challenge of the University of Hong Kong (no. 20830019) and funds from Oriental Int Health Products Co., Ltd. (no 20006390)). We thank Mr. Randy Cheung for secretarial assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tzi Bun Ng
    • 1
  • Jingyi Liu
    • 2
  • Jack Ho Wong
    • 1
  • Xiujuan Ye
    • 3
  • Stephen Cho Wing Sze
    • 2
  • Yao Tong
    • 2
  • Kalin Yanbo Zhang
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of MedicineThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinChina
  2. 2.School of Chinese Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of MedicineThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  3. 3.Institute of Plant Virology, Fujian Province Key Laboratory of Plant VirologyFujian Agriculture and Forestry UniversityFuzhouChina

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