Medicinal Plants and Phytomedicines

  • Rivaldo NieroEmail author
  • Valdir Cechinel Filho
  • Rosendo Augusto Yunes


Phytomedicines are mixtures of plant metabolites that exhibit some therapeutic properties. It is well-known that mixtures of plant metabolites are generally obtained by extraction with water or ethanol. However, simple infusions such as teas are also used today. Phytomedicines require good quality plant material and rigorous production methods to obtain extracts with therapeutic efficacy and safety. Modern biological screening methods and the mechanisms of action, as well as the importance of synergy, are described. Twelve phytomedicines commonly used worldwide are summarized in terms of applications, efficacy and safety. Finally, the study case of new phytomedicine development is described as an example of the biodiversity potential in supplying novel medicinally important compounds.


Medicinal plants Biodiversity Phytomedicines Secondary metabolites Therapeutic potential 



Acquired immune deficiency syndrome


Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária


Before Christ


Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte


Benign prostatic hyperplasia


Central nervous system




Research Center for Chemical, Biological and Agricultural

CYP 450

Cytochrome P450


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Effective dose that produces a therapeutic response in 50%


Electrophoretic mobility assay


Electrospray ionization mass spectrometry


Food and Drug Administration


Gamma-aminobutyric acid


Hydroalcoholic extract


Chorioallantoic membrane test


High-performance liquid chromatography


High-performance thin-layer chromatography


Inhibitory concentration that produces a therapeutic response in 50%




Nitric oxide synthase


Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry


L-NG-nitro arginine


Messenger RNA


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus


Nuclear factor kappa B


Nuclear magnetic resonance




Supercritical fluid extraction


Sodium-glucose transport proteins


Serenoa repens extract


Thin-layer chromatography


Tumor necrosis factor alpha


World Health Organization



The authors are grateful to UNIVALI, CNPq, and FAPESC-SC (Brazil) for their financial support and to all the authors of our research groups who participated in the papers cited in this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rivaldo Niero
    • 1
    Email author
  • Valdir Cechinel Filho
    • 1
  • Rosendo Augusto Yunes
    • 2
  1. 1.Núcleo de Investigações Químico-Farmacêuticas (NIQFAR) e Programa de Mestrado em Ciências FarmacêuticasUniversidade do Vale do Itajaí (UNIVALI)ItajaíBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de QuímicaUniversidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC)FlorianópolisBrazil

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