Biology (Basel) 2021 Jul 2;10(7):618. doi: 10.3390/biology10070618.
Searching for Scientific Explanations for the Uses of Spanish Folk Medicine: A Review on the Case of Mullein (Verbascum, Scrophulariaceae)
José Blanco-Salas 1, María P Hortigón-Vinagre 2, Diana Morales-Jadán 3, Trinidad Ruiz-Téllez 1
PMID: 34356473 PMCID: PMC8301161 DOI: 10.3390/biology10070618
Free PMC article
Verbascum species (common mullein) have been widely used in Spanish folk medicine to treat pathologies related to the musculature, skeleton, and circulatory, digestive, and respiratory systems, as well as to treat infectious diseases and organ-sense illnesses. These applications support the potential anti-inflammatory action of Verbascum phytochemicals. Based on the aforementioned facts, and following a deep bibliographic review of the chemical composition of the 10 species of Verbascum catalogued by the Spanish Inventory of Traditional Knowledge related to Biodiversity, we look for scientific evidences to correlate the traditional medical uses with the chemical components of these plants. To support these findings, in silico simulations were performed to investigate molecular interactions between Verbascum phytochemicals and cellular components. Most of common mullein traditional uses could rely on the anti-inflammatory action of phytochemicals, such as quercetin, and it could explain the employment of these plants to treat a wide range of diseases mediated by inflammatory processes such as respiratory diseases, otitis, arthrosis, and rheumatism among others.
Keywords: Verbascum; flavonoid; inflammatory; terpene; traditional knowledge; validation.
Review Phytother Res. 2022 Apr;36(4):1507-1522. doi: 10.1002/ptr.7393. Epub 2022 Jan 27.
Health-promoting and disease-mitigating potential of Verbascum thapsus L. (common mullein): A review
Ashutosh Gupta 1, Alexa N Atkinson 2, Abhay Kumar Pandey 1, Anupam Bishayee 2
PMID: 35088467 DOI: 10.1002/ptr.7393
Medicinal plants represent rich sources of traditional medicines and numerous currently used medicines are either directly or indirectly derived from plants. Verbascum thapsus L. (great mullein or common mullein), a medicinal herb indigenous to northern Africa, western and central Asia, and Europe, has been brought to the Americas and Australia. It has been used as a medicine for lung, skin and throat disorders and has a long history of therapeutic importance, particularly as an astringent and calming agent. Presently, the dried leaves, flowers, various plant extracts and flower oil are used in several formulations within Indian traditional medicine. An extract taken from the roots is useful in minimizing toothache, and it also relieves stiffness and seizures. V. thapsus contains a wide variety of phytoconstituents, such as flavonoids, iridoid, phenylethanoid and phenylpropanoid glycosides, saponins, as well as vitamin C and minerals. The most valuable constituents are coumarin and hesperidin, which possess healing properties. Emerging literature based on experimental studies on V. thapsus demonstrates various biological and pharmacological properties, including antiviral, antioxidant, analgesic, sedative, anti-inflammatory, hypnotic, antibacterial, antifungal, as well as anticancer activities. The present review provides an updated, comprehensive, and critical evaluation of various health-promoting and disease-mitigating properties of V. thapsus.
Keywords: Verbascum thapsus; formulation; pharmacological activities; phytoconstituents; traditional uses.