The Genus Heracleum: A Comprehensive Review on Its Phytochemistry, Pharmacology,and Ethnobotanical Values as a Useful Herb

No votes yet
Your rating: None


Heracleum species, also known as hogweed, are traditionally used as food additives, spices, and flavoring agents. Moreover, these plants are widely used in folklore medicine for the treatment of many disorders such as inflammation, flatulence, stomachache, epilepsy, psoriasis, and as carminative, wound healing, antiseptic, antidiarrheal, tonic, digestive, pain killer, analgesic, and anticonvulsant agents. The genus Heracleum has broad pharmacological activities: anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticholinesterase, anti-oxidant, antiviral, cytotoxic, and anticarcinogenic. A total of 94 compounds have been isolated from plants of the Heracleum genus, all indicating vital biological activities. Also, about 50 compounds have been identified as major components in their essential oils. The genus is rich in several types of bioactive coumarin compounds, with huge potential for the discovery of new coumarins. Various parts of these plants produce essential oils (mainly aliphatic esters and monoterpenes) with a wide spectrum of biological activities. Heracleum species have great potential for applications in the food, cosmetics, perfumery, and pharmaceutical industries due to their broad ethnobotanical uses and pharmacological properties. Accordingly, this review aims to categorize updated and comprehensive information on ethnobotanical uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacology of Heracleum species in order to open new perspectives for future studies, including possible uses as functional ingredients in food products.
Mir Babak Bahadori
Leila Dinparast
Gokhan Zengin
Institute of Food Technologists