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Review Article

Marrubium vulgare L.: A review on phytochemical and pharmacological aspects

Santram Lodhi, Gautam Prakash Vadnere, Vimal Kant Sharma, Md. Rageeb Usman.


Marrubium vulgare L. (family: Lamiaceae), also known as white horehound, is widely used as herbal remedy for chronic coughs and colds. It is used in various disorders related to skin, liver, gastric, heart and immune system. This review abridges phytochemical, pharmacological studies and medicinal uses of M. vulgare and provides scientific proof for various ethnobotanical claims in order to identify gaps, which will give impulsion for novel research on M. vulgare based herbal medicines. This review summarizes selected scientific evidence on phytochemistry and pharmacological properties of M. vulgare over the past 48 years (1968 to 2016). The work reported on M. vulgare was reviewed from various sources like books, internet source i.e. google search engine, pubmed, sciencedirect and chemical abstract. The exhaustive literature was studied and critical analysis was done according to their phytochemical and pharmacological properties. Phytochemical investigations on different parts of M. vulgare have been reported the presence of flavonoids, steroids, terpenoids, tannins, saponins and volatile oils (0.05%). The aerial parts contain marrubiin, together with ursolic acid and choline. Pharmacological activities like, anti-nociceptive, anti-spasmodic, anti-hypertensive, anti-diabetic, gastroprotective, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-cancer, antioxidant, and anti-hepatotoxic activity have been reported. M. vulgare has therapeutic potential in the treatment of inflammatory conditions, liver disorders, pain, cardiovascular, gastric and diabetic conditions. Aerial parts of M. vulgare is a good source of labdane type diterpene especially marrubiin which is present in high concentrations. However, further scientific studies are needed to explore clinical efficacy, toxicity and to explore the therapeutic effect of major secondary metabolites like diterpenes, phenylpropanoid and phenylethanoid glycosides of M. vulgare.

Key words: Marrubium vulgare, marrubiin, marrubenol, phenylpropanoid, diterpenoids

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