Background: Plants of the genus Inula are perennial herbs of the family Asteraceae. This genus includes more than 100 species, widely distributed throughout Europe, Africa and Asia including India. Many of them are indicated in traditional medicine, e.g., in Ayurveda. This review explores chemical constituents, medicinal uses and pharmacological actions of Inula species.
Methods: Major databases and research and review articles retrieved through Scopus, Web of Science, and Medline were consulted to obtain information on the pharmacological activities of the genus Inula published from 1994 to 2017.
Results: Inula species are used either alone or as an important ingredient of various formulations to cure dysfunctions of the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, urinary system, central nervous system and digestive system, and for the treatment of asthma, diabetes, cancers, skin disorders, hepatic disease, fungal and bacterial infections. A range of phytochemicals including alkaloids, essential and volatile oils, flavonoids, terpenes, and lactones has been isolated from herbs of the genus Inula, which might possibly explain traditional uses of these plants.
Conclusion: The present review is focused on chemical constituents, medicinal uses and pharmacological actions of Inula species and provides valuable insight into its medicinal potential.
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