The genus Zanthoxylum (Rutaceae) comprises about 250 species, of which many are used as food, often as condiments, substituting pepper due to the pungent taste of fruits, seeds, leaves, and bark, and therapeutic remedies especially in Eastern Asian countries and in Central America. The whole plant is also consumed as an ingredient of soups and salads. The aim of this review is to examine in detail from a phytochemical and pharmacological point of view what is reported in the current literature about the anti-cancer and chemopreventive properties of phytopreparations or individual active compounds obtained from edible plants belonging to this genus.
Keywords: Anti-cancer activity, cancer, chemoprevention, edible plants, prenyloxphenylpropanoids, Rutaceae, Zanthoxylum, phytochemicals, cytotoxic activity, COX-2, cancer chemoprevention
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