Biological Effects of Licochalcones

Author(s): Gatta Daniela Maria Pia, Franceschelli Sara, Felaco Mario, Speranza Lorenza*

Journal Name: Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 19 , Issue 8 , 2019

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Graphical Abstract:


Medicinal plants and their natural bioactive molecules, are evaluated as the foundation for health preservation and care of humanity. The licorice root, known as “Radix Glycyrrhizae”, is a perennial plant that comes from Mediterranean countries, central to southern Russia, Asia, Turkey, Iraq and Iran. The licorice root has been used in traditional Chinese medicines for centuries and has been defined as "the progenitor of herbs". The name 'Licorice' is derived from the ancient Greek word Glukurrhiza, meaning 'sweet root'. It consists of approximately 30 species, however, the most common ones consist of Glycyrrhiza glabra L., Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch and Glycyrrhiza Inflata. In addition, the licorice root contains chalcones, which are a part of an important class of natural products and are precursors of flavonoids. Chemically, chalcones are composed of two aromatic rings associated with α, β-unsaturated α-carbon ketone, representing the prima nucleus of the structure. They have been classified, according to chemical structures, in Licochalcone A, B, C, D, E, F and G. This review aims to highlight all the in vitro and in vivo studies that have been conducted on the licochalcones, extracted from Glycyrrhiza species. The main effects are as follows: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, antimicrobial, antiviral, antiallergic, antidiabetic, hepatotoxic and osteogenic. It is important to implement the introduction of biologically active natural molecules from the bench (research) to the bedside (clinical practice). However, in the future, it is required to conduct additional studies to validate these biological effects.

Keywords: Licochalcones, Glycyrrhiza species, biological effects, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, natural compounds.

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Year: 2019
Page: [647 - 656]
Pages: 10
DOI: 10.2174/1389557518666180601095420
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