Review of research on Dendrobium, a prized folk medicine

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgments

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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Correspondence to Kalin Yanbo Zhang.

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Tzi Bun Ng and Jingyi Liu contributed equally to this article.

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Ng, T.B., Liu, J., Wong, J.H. et al. Review of research on Dendrobium, a prized folk medicine. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 93, 1795–1803 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-011-3829-7

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Keywords

  • Dendrobium
  • Constituents
  • Bioactivity
  • Medicinal plants