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Indigenous Uses and Pharmacological Activity of Traditional Medicinal Plants in Mount Taibai, China.

1. Introduction

Ethnobotany is a plant science that studies historical and current uses of medicinal plants [1, 2]. It is of great significance for the conservation of ancient medicinal cultures, as well as for understanding changes in history and culture. It is also important for the conservation of traditional medicinal plant resources [3]. Furthermore, local residents with limited access to medical technology and equipment may benefit from traditional remedies, which can form an effective indigenous healthcare system. Such research maybe significant in revealing important traditional medicinal plant species, often leading to the discovery of new drugs, and contributing to the local economy. Currently, millions of people in the developing world rely on traditional medicinal plants for primary healthcare, skin care, economic benefits, and cultural development. In areas where medical facilities are underdeveloped, traditional medicinal plants are especially important. Here, local residents may not distinguish between food, healthcare, and economic activity. This indigenous pharmacological knowledge of traditional medicinal plants should not be ignored. The global herbal remedies market was worth 19.4 billion USD in 1999 (not including shrubs and trees) [4]. Moreover, demand for traditional medicinal plants is increasing; for example, in India alone, the market is expanding at an annual rate of 20% [2]. The development of ethnobotany is expected to bring significant economic benefits, and scientific research is required to provide an evidence base for the development ofthe active ingredients of traditional medicines. Ethnobotany may also protect cultural heritage, inspire more studies of traditional medicines, and provide a basis for the discovery of new drugs.

Qinling is the most important northsouth geographical divide in China. The peak of Qinling is Mt. Taibai, which is the most important boundary in eastern mainland China in terms of climatic variation and the distribution of vegetation, and is especially significant because of its eastwest alignment and abundance of species [5]. Mt. Taibai has 1,850 species of plants belonging to 126 families, 25 of which are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

In recent years, interest has grown in the traditional medicinal plants of Mt. Taibai, both domestically and internationally. Attention has focused on biodiversity and pharmacological properties of individual species; however, few studies have attempted to evaluate their medicinal efficacy, or to explore the scientific basis of these plant medicines [6-8]. Although many of these plants have previously been investigated, most studies have been inconclusive. To provide a good evidence base for the usage of traditional medicinal plants, further studies should be carried out to investigate the distribution and usage of medicinal plants and critically evaluate their efficacy.

We investigated and documented traditional medicinal plants in Mt. Taibai and analyzed the treatment diversity of medicinal methods, identifying numerous plant parts, remedy formulations, and ailments that they were used to treat. We also evaluated the efficacy of these medicinal plants by comparing local usage with findings from published phytochemical and pharmacological studies. We believe that this research will not only help to stimulate the local economy, but also help to promote the protection and utilization of traditional medicinal plants.

2. Study Area and Methods

2.1. Study Area. Mt. Taibai (107[degrees]22'-107[degrees]5l' E, 33[degrees]49'- 34[degrees]05' N) is located in the center of the Qinling mountain range in Shaanxi Province, China. It covers Taibai County, the southern part of Mei County, and the southwestern part of Zhouzhi County. The elevation of the study region extends from 819 to 3767m (see Figure 1) [9]. The Mt. Taibai Nature Reserve was designated in September 1965 by the government of Shaanxi Province. It contains a diverse range of flora, including 1,783 seed plant species (597 genera and 126 families), 325 bryophyte species (142 genera and 62 families), and 110 fern species (40 genera and 21 families), constituting approximately 60% of the flora of the Qinling range [10-12]. Interviews and surveys, as well as specimen collection, were undertaken in the Taibai Mountains (Mt. Taibai) Nature Reserve and the surrounding areas, including villages in Taibai County, Mei County, and Zhouzhi County.

2.2. Study Methods. Pharmacological data were collected by conducting interviews with local experienced doctors of traditional Chinese medicine, and open-ended questionnaires were given to villagers. Participants were selected to include plant collectors, plant cultivators, and plant traders. In total, nine experienced doctors of traditional Chinese medicine were interviewed; all were male, five were aged more than 50 years, and four were aged 40-50 years. In addition, 41 villagers (74% male, 26% female) participated in our open-ended questionnaire, 54% of whom were aged more than 40 years. The majority (54%) had no formal education, and 46% had primary school education, of whom 21% also had secondary school education. We gathered information on the altitudes of plant distributions, plant uses, the parts of plants that are used, their modes of utilization, the formulations of remedies, and the ailments that were treated using them. For species that could not be identified with certainty, specimens were collected for identification using references and further expert knowledge. The informant consensus factor [F.sub.IC] was used to describe the variability of traditional medicinal plants. A high value of [F.sub.IC] indicates good agreement on a particular ailment, whereas a low value of [F.sub.IC] corresponds to poor agreement. High values of [F.sub.IC] thus indicate particularly interesting species in the search for bioactive compounds. [F.sub.IC] was calculated as follows [13]:

[mathematical expression not reproducible], (1)

where [N.sub.u]r is the number of individual reports of plant use for a particular illness category and [N.sub.t] is the total number of species used for this illness category.

To determine the variability, the reasonability of preparation methods, and the efficacy of the medicinal plants, we analyzed the altitudes at which the plants were grown, the taxonomic category, the parts of the plants that were used, the ailments that were treated, the chemical composition, and the pharmacological activity. Data were plotted using Sigmaplot 12.0, MapGIS 6.7, and Photoshop 6.0 for Windows.

3. Results and Discussion

3.1. Distribution at Different Altitudes. We recorded a total of 50 species of traditional medicinal plants grown at various altitudes on Mt. Taibai. Forty species were found at altitudes of 1000-1400 m, 23 species at altitudes of 1400-1800 m, 18 species at altitudes of 600-1000 m, 15 species at altitudes of 1800-2200 m, 14 species at altitudes of 2200-2600 m, 7 species at altitudes of 2600-3000 m, and 6 species at altitudes of 3000-3500 m (Figure 2). Therefore, we concluded that altitudes in the range of 1000-1400 m represented the best sampling location.

3.2. Taxonomic Categories. All of these species were angiosperms, with 46 genera belonging to 32 families. There were 41 species of herb (82%), 6 species of shrub (12%), and 3 species of climber (6%; see Figure 3). Shrubs and grassland are important habitats for medicinal plants [14]. The herb layer is more complex and variable than the shrub layer, and the interaction between species is strong. Owing to the heterogeneity of the herb layer, it has rich species diversity [15]. It is believed that the more abundant the plant, the more the medicinal virtues it may possess [16, 17].

3.3. Part of the Plant Used for Medicine. Medicinal formulations can be prepared from roots, rhizomes, seeds, leaves, flowers, fruits, stems, or the whole plant. In this study, the most commonly used part was the whole plant (27 species), followed by roots (18 species), fruits (11 species), seeds (7 species), leaves (5 species), rhizomes (5 species), stems (3 species), and flowers (3 species) (Figure 4). The use of multiple plant parts was also recorded in some cases, including Iris lactea, where the leaves, roots, seeds, or flowers may be used for medicine, and Acorus calamus, where the roots, flowers, or leaves are used. It has been shown that some traditional medicinal plants may have effects when used in the form of preparations made using roots, leaves, and flowers. Deng and Hou [18] carried out chemical analyses and pharmacological experiments using 18 plant roots, leaves, and flowers, with clinical observations and a comparative study showing that many nonmedicinal parts of plants had medicinal value, which is significant for the development of new medicinal resources. Many traditional Chinese medicines in nonmedicinal parts of in-depth research have new insights, in the development of new resources.

3.4. Ailments Treated. Gastrointestinal disorders, coughs, colds, urological problems, dermatological infections, heart diseases, fever, headaches, liver complaints, weakness, dizziness, respiratory problems, ophthalmological problems, cuts, and wounds were treated using traditional medicinal plants. Coughs and colds were treated with the greatest diversity of plant species (22 species), followed by urological problems (19 species) and gastrointestinal disorders (17 species). Respiratory problems, heart disease, and toothache were treated with the lowest diversity of plant species (5, 2, and 2, resp.) (Figure 5). Many species were used to treat multiple ailments, such as Solanum nigrum, Origanum vulgare, Lespedeza bicolor, Lespedeza cuneata, Carum carvi, and Valeriana officinalis, which were used to treat four to five ailments (Table 1). This suggests that there is significant potential value among these species. Some species were used to treat few ailments, such as Acorus calamus, which was used to treat only cough and toothache. Some species were used to treat only a single ailment, such as Thlaspi arvense, which was used to treat urological problems only (Table 1). The reasons why coughs, urological problems, and gastrointestinal disorders were treated with such a diversity of species maybe related to the local climate conditions, living environment, and habits.

3.5. Formulations. We found that 85 medicinal formulations were prepared using the 50 traditional medicinal plants identified in this study. Methods/applications included decoctions, pastes, juices, chewing, steaming, and medicated baths (Table 2). The most common formulation was decoction (42), followed by paste (25), juice (8), medicated bath (5), chewing (3), and steaming (2). Polygonum aviculare, Portulaca oleracea, Sanguisorba officinalis, Lespedeza cuneata, Tribulus terrestris, Pyrola rotundifolia, Verbena officinalis, and Veronicastrum sibiricum were processed into three different formulations (Figure 6). A total of 19 species were prepared as two different formulations, and all of the remaining 23 species were only prepared as a single formulation. Decoction was the most widely used preparation, which may be because of its simplicity and convenience (the processes of applying medicated baths, chewing, and steaming are more complicated or less convenient). Additional preparations have also been reported; for example, Chen et al. [19] described a preparation made using a combination of egg, tea leaves, and yellow wine, which was used as an embrocation to treat skin diseases, as well as the use of rice or other foods to enable swallowing or topical applications.

3.6. Informant Consensus Factor. The level of informant agreement was medium-high (mean [F.sub.IC] = 0.65). [F.sub.IC] values for most diseases were in the range of 0.60-0.70. Respiratory problems, menstrual disorders, and urological problems exhibited relatively low levels of consensus ([F.sub.IC] = 0.56, 0.67, and 0.57, resp.). High values of [F.sub.IC] were obtained for toothache and heart disease (0.88 and 0.83, resp.), showing that locals had reached good agreement on the plant species (Polygonatum odoratum, Valeriana officinalis, Acorus calamus, and Asarum sieboldii) to be used for these ailments. With the development of national medicine, a variety of herbs may contribute to traditional medicines and can complement the development of traditional Chinese medicine theory and practice [20]. These species may have significant value, so further investigation of their active compounds is warranted (Table 3).

3.7. Efficacy of Traditional Medicinal Plants. By collecting phytochemical and pharmacological data on the 50 traditional medicinal plants based on questionnaire data from local residents, and comparing this with bioefficacy data from literature reports, we found that the use of traditional medicinal plants in Mt. Taibai was consistent with known phytochemical or pharmacological properties in 84% of cases. In total, 28 medicinal species showed complete correspondence and 14 (Polygonum viviparum, Rumex acetosa, Tribulus terrestris, Paeonia obovata, Thlaspi arvense, Polygonatum odoratum, Actinidia arguta, Astragalus chrysopterus, Lespedeza bicolor, Solanum nigrum, Cynanchum wilfordii, Metaplexis japonica, Daucus carota, and Anaphalis sinica) showed partial correspondence. These results showing only partial phytochemical and pharmacological correspondence warrant further research into the uses of these plants. It was difficult to evaluate the pharmacological activity of the following eight species: Iris lactea, Lespedeza cuneata, Oxalis acetosella, Sophora flavescens, Lepidium apetalum, Leonurus pseudomacranthus, Ranunculus sceleratus, and Cephalanoplos segetum. Although many of these have been shown to contain active substances, further research is required to investigate their efficacy. The species Oxalis acetosella, Sophora flavescens,and Leonurus pseudomacranthus (Table 4) have not been widely studied, and their pharmacological activity is largely unknown. To help promote local economic development, we conclude that the previous 42 medicinal species should be given sufficient attention, but that the final eight species are also worthy of further research, with potential applications in drug development.

3.8. Suggestions for Further Exploitation and Protection. By comparing information on the use of traditional medicinal plants with the Chinese Materia Medica and other related research, we found that the properties of many of the identified species exhibited similar results. This shows that the use of traditional medicinal plants is self-consistent. This self-consistent knowledge of traditional medicinal plant species is extremely valuable and may promote research into the culture of traditional remedies and expedite the development of medicine. Therefore, knowledge of traditional medicinal plants is significant and should be conserved. Further development and utilization and effective cultivation and preparation methods, as well as education and regulation, are important strategies that can help exploit the benefits of these medicinal plants. Against this background, we make the following proposals.

First, regulations should be issued by government to control and standardize the use and trade of traditional medicinal plants. Second, the traditional knowledge of the use of medicinal plant is very important, but local residents may not take this seriously unless they realize the value of these traditional medicinal plants. Therefore, effective communication/publicity is important. Third, improvements should be made to the market for medical plants. Trade is an important factor in the use of medicinal plants, and protection for traders is therefore important. To promote economic development of local medicinal plants, protection and production should be taken into consideration. If such regulation is impractical, medicinal botanical gardens maybe a good option. Training and demonstrations are important not only to preserve the germplasm resources of wild medicinal plants, but also to improve publicity. Finally, support from government is an important factor, as the implementation of the above strategies requires support from government. Only government has the capabilities to ensure sustainable development of these medicinal plant resources.

4. Conclusions

Mt. Taibai is rich in medicinal plant resources, and the local people possess a systematic and self-consistent knowledge of these native medicinal plants, including identification, application, and treatment modalities. Altitudes in the range of 1000-1400 m were found to be most promising for sample collection. Herbs were the most widely used plant species because of their abundance and the relative ease of collection, preparation, and storage. The most frequently used parts of plants were roots. Coughs and colds were the ailments that were treated with the greatest diversity of medicinal plant species. Decoction was the most widely used formulation.

The level of informant agreement was medium-high (mean [F.sub.IC] = 0.65). The highest values of [F.sub.IC] were obtained for toothache and heart disease (0.88 and 0.83, resp.), indicating good agreement in terms of the plant species used to treat these conditions (P. odoratum, V. officinalis, A. calamus, and A. sieboldii). These species therefore have significant value, and further research into their active compounds is warranted. We found 84% self-consistency of traditional plant use, which, together with scientifically proven phytochemical and pharmacological properties, indicates that traditional medical theories and formulations may be important and effective aspects of healthcare. We found that 14 species (P. viviparum, R. acetosa, T. terrestris, P. obovata, T. arvense, P odoratum, A. arguta, A. chrysopterus, L. bicolor, S. nigrum, C. wilfordii, M. japonica, D. carota, and A. sinica) exhibited only partial correspondence in terms of pharmacological activity and that 8 (I. lacteal, L. cuneata, O. acetosella, S. flavescens, L. apetalum, L. pseudomacranthus, R. sceleratus, and C. segetum) showed inconclusive results; however, there may be significant potential for the use of these plants, and further investigation is warranted for all species. The chemical compounds contained in the species O. acetosella, S. flavescens, and L. pseudomacranthus have not been reported, and their pharmacological activity is largely unknown. More complete and systematic knowledge of the phytochemical and pharmacological properties of traditional medicinal plants is desirable, and medicinal plants have considerable potential for healthcare applications. Therefore, we attach importance to the conservation of biodiversity, as well as traditional knowledge of the medicinal use of these plants. Proper management and exploitation of traditional medicinal plants may provide a sustainable source of income for local communities. This provides incentives for conservation to ensure the long-term availability of these traditional medicinal plants, both for use as indigenous drugs and for commercial exploitation.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2017/8329817

Disclosure

The English in this document has been checked by at least two professional editors, both native speakers of English. For a certificate, please see http://www.textcheck.com/certificate/ mgkiQ5.

Competing Interests

The authors declare that there are no competing interests regarding the publication of this paper.

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the program from the Special Fund for Forestry Scientific Research in the Public Interest of China (201504320).

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Na Chang, (1) Ziwen Luo, (2) Dengwu Li, (2) and Huiying Song (2)

(1) College of Landscape Architecture and Arts, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China

(2) College of Forestry, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Dengwu Li; dengwuli@163.com

Received 10 October 2016; Revised 13 January 2017; Accepted 22 January 2017; Published 20 February 2017

Academic Editor: Jairo Kennup Bastos

Caption: Figure 1: Location of Taibai Mountains Nature Reserve in Shaanxi, China.

Caption: Figure 2: Distribution frequencies (number of species) of medicine plants.

Caption: Figure 4: Use frequencies (number of species) of different plant parts in traditional medicine preparation.

Caption: Figure 5: Number of remedies used for various ailments.

Caption: Figure 6: Use frequencies (number of medicinal formulations) of different remedy preparation techniques.
Table 1: Medicinal plants used to cure various ailments.

Ailment                   Plants

Cough and cold            Acorus calamus Linn., Polygonatum
                          odoratum Mill., Iris lactea Pall.
                          var. chinensis Koidz., Humulus
                          scandens (Lour.) Merr., Asarum
                          sieboldii Miq., Pseudostellaria
                          heterophylla (Miq.) Pax ex Pax et
                          Hoffm., Lepidium apetalum Willd.,
                          Lespedeza bicolor Turcz., Hippophae
                          rhamnoides Linn., Daucus carota
                          Linn., Carum carvi Linn., Pyrola
                          rotundifolia Linn. subsp. Chinensis
                          H. Andres., Metaplexis japonica
                          (Thunb.) Makino., Origanum vulgare
                          Linn., Veronicastrum sibiricum
                          (Linn.) Penell., Lonicera japonica
                          Thunb., Valeriana officinalis
                          Linn., Xanthium sibiricum Patrin ex
                          Widder., Bidens parviflora Willd.,
                          Cephalanoplos segetum (Bge.)
                          Kitam., Anaphalis sinica Hance.,
                          Arctium lappa Linn.

Kidney and urethra        Houttuynia cordata Thunb., Humulus
problems                  scandens, Polygonum aviculare
                          Linn., Portulaca oleracea Linn.,
                          Ranunculus sceleratus Linn.,
                          Thlaspi arvense Linn., Astragalus
                          chrysopterus Bge., Lespedeza
                          bicolor, Daucus carota, Carum
                          carvi, Diospyros lotus Linn.,
                          Cynanchum wilfordii (Maxim.)
                          Hemsl., Metaplexis japonica,
                          Leonurus pseudomacranthus Kitag.,
                          Origanum vulgare, Plantago depressa
                          Widd., Plantago asiatica Linn.,
                          Valeriana officinalis,
                          Cephalanoplos segetum

Gastrointestinal          Rumex acetosa Linn., Portulaca
disorders                 oleracea, Sophora flavescens Ait.,
                          Lespedeza cuneata (Dum. Cours.) G.
                          Don., Geranium sibiricum Linn.,
                          Daphne giraldii Nitsche., Hippophae
                          rhamnoides, Daucus carota, Carum
                          carvi, Origanum vulgare, Solanum
                          nigrum Linn., Plantago depressa,
                          Lonicera japonica, Valeriana
                          officinalis, Artemisia annua Linn.,
                          Bidens parviflora, Anaphalis sinica

Cuts and wounds           Gymnadenia conopsea R. Br.,
                          Polygonum viviparum Linn., Paeonia
                          obovata Maxim., Lepidium apetalum,
                          Sedum aizoon Linn., Sanguisorba
                          officinalis Linn., Astragalus
                          chrysopterus, Lespedeza cuneata,
                          Oxalis acetosella Linn., Geranium
                          sibiricum, Pyrola rotundifolia,
                          Verbena officinalis Linn.

Dermatological            Rumex acetosa, Ranunculus japonicus
infections                Thunb., Sophora flavescens,
                          Astragalus chrysopterus, Oxalis
                          acetosella, Diospyros lotus,
                          Verbena officinalis, Solanum
                          nigrum, Artemisia annua, Bidens
                          parviflora

Fever and headache        Humulus scandens, Polygonum
                          viviparum, Portulaca oleracea,
                          Lespedeza bicolor, Origanum
                          vulgare, Solanum nigrum,
                          Veronicastrum sibiricum (Linn.)
                          Penell, Artemisia annua, Anaphalis
                          sinica

Weakness and              Polygonatum odoratum, Gymnadenia
dizziness                 conopsea, Pseudostellaria
                          heterophylla, Lepidium apetalum,
                          Lespedeza bicolor, Carum carvi,
                          Cynanchum wilfordii, Metaplexis
                          japonica

Menstrual disorders       Ranunculus sceleratus, Paeonia
                          obovata, Actinidia arguta (Sieb. et
                          Zucc.) Planch., Pyrola
                          rotundifolia, Verbena officinalis,
                          Leonurus pseudo-macranthus,
                          Origanum vulgare

Ophthalmological          Lespedeza cuneata, Tribulus
problems                  terrestris Linn., Diospyros lotus,
                          Solanum nigrum, Plantago depressa,
                          Plantago asiatica

Liver complaint           Iris lactea, Gymnadenia conopsea,
                          Tribulus terrestris, Actinidia
                          arguta, Plantago depressa, Plantago
                          asiatica

Respiratory problems      Houttuynia cordata, Ranunculus
                          sceleratus, Lespedeza cuneata,
                          Diospyros lotus, Solanum nigrum

Heart diseases            Polygonatum odoratum, Valeriana
                          officinalis

Toothache                 Acorus calamus, Asarum sieboldii

Table 2: Common forms of preparation methods for remedies
made of medicinal plants.

Preparation       Description
method

Paste             Fresh plant parts are crushed with
                  a stone pestle and mortar.

Juice             Obtained by squeezing or crushing
                  plant parts. Sometimes requires
                  addition of other liquids for
                  dilution.

Chewing           Fresh plant parts are chewed.

Steamed dew       Drugs are extracted from medicinal
                  raw materials by distillation and
                  then modulated into distilled
                  liquid for drinking, wiping, or
                  other uses.

Decoction         Plant parts are boiled in water and
                  the extract (crude drug) is used.

Medicate bath     Fresh flowers or other plant parts
                  are immersed in hot water for
                  bathing.

Table 3: Informant consensus factor ([F.sub.IC]) for
different ailment categories.

Ailment                            Number of taxa    Number of use
                                     ([N.sub.t])        reports
                                                      ([N.sub.ur])

Cough and cold                           22                54
Kidney and urethra problems              19                43
Gastrointestinal disorders               17                47
Cuts and wounds                          14                41
Dermatological infections                10                25
Fever and headache                        9                21
Weakness and dizziness                    8                18
Menstrual disorders                       7                15
Ophthalmological problems                 6                14
Liver complaint                           6                17
Respiratory problems                      5                10
Heart diseases                            2                7
Toothache                                 2                9
Total                                    127              321

Ailment                              Informant
                                     consensus
                                      factor
                                   ([F.sub.IC])

Cough and cold                         0.60
Kidney and urethra problems            0.57
Gastrointestinal disorders             0.65
Cuts and wounds                        0.68
Dermatological infections              0.63
Fever and headache                     0.60
Weakness and dizziness                 0.59
Menstrual disorders                    0.57
Ophthalmological problems              0.62
Liver complaint                        0.69
Respiratory problems                   0.56
Heart diseases                         0.83
Toothache                              0.88
Total

Table 4: Comparison of local use and phytochemical/pharmacological
properties of medicinal plants.

Species                   The main usage in
                          local place (present
                          study)

Portulaca oleracea        Whole plant soup is
                          taken for enteritis
                          and constipation

Iris lactea               Seeds and flowers
                          are applied on heat-
                          clearing and
                          detoxifying

Gymnadenia conopsea       Whole plant and
                          rhizomes are used
                          for wounds,
                          weakness, and
                          dizziness

Houttuynia cordata        Whole plant is taken
                          for respiratory and
                          kidney problems

Humulus scandens          Whole plant is used
                          for fever, cough,
                          and urethra problem

Polygonum viviparum       Rhizomes are taken
                          for wounds, cough,
                          and cold

Rumex acetosa             Whole plant is
                          applied on
                          dermatological
                          infections and
                          gastrointestinal
                          disorders

Plantago depressa         Used for hepatitis
                          and seeds are
                          applied on diarrhea
                          or eye diseases

Polygonum aviculare       Whole plant is used
                          for kidney and
                          urethra problems

Carum carvi               Fruits are taken for
                          dyspepsia, coughs,
                          diuresis, and
                          stomachache

Pseudostellaria           Roots are taken for
heterophylla              cough, weakness, and
                          dizziness

Xanthium sibiricum        Leaves are applied
                          on wind chill and
                          colds

Tribulus terrestris       Fruits are applied
                          for eye diseases,
                          menstrual disorders,
                          and liver problems

Ranunculus japonicas      Used for
                          dermatological
                          infections

Paeonia obovate           Roots are taken for
                          cough and menstrual
                          disorders

Thlaspi arvense           Whole plant and
                          seeds are applied
                          for kidney and
                          urethra problems

Sedum aizoon              Whole plant an roots
                          are taken for cuts
                          and wounds

Plantago asiatica         Used for diarrhea,
                          hepatitis, and red
                          swollen and painful
                          eye

Sanguisorba               Roots are used for
officinalis               cuts and wounds

Lonicera japonica         Used for
                          gastrointestinal
                          disorders, colds,
                          and fever

Valeriana                 Roots are taken for
officinalis               cough, heart
                          diseases, and
                          lubricating the
                          intestines

Polygonatum               Roots are taken for
odoratum                  palpitation, coughs,
                          and physical
                          weakness

Acorus calamus            Used for febrile
                          pain, colds, and
                          toothache

Lespedeza cuneata         Used for
                          Gastrointestinal
                          disorders, wounds,
                          and respiratory
                          problems

Oxalis acetosella         Used for wounds and
                          dermatological
                          infections

Geranium sibiricum        Whole plant and
                          roots are taken for
                          wounds and
                          gastrointestinal
                          disorders

                          Root are used for
Sophora flavescens        dermatological
                          infections and
                          gastrointestinal
                          disorders

Actinidia argute          Used for menstrual
                          disorders and liver
                          complaint

Daphne giraldii           Used for headache,
                          arthralgia, and
                          gastrointestinal
                          disorders

Astragalus                Whole plant is taken
chrysopterus              for wounds, heart
                          diseases, and
                          dermatological
                          infections

Lespedeza bicolor         Leaves and stems are
                          applied for cough,
                          fever, weakness, and
                          kidney problems

Asarum sieboldii          Roots are applied
                          for cold, headache,
                          and toothache

Hippophae rhamnoides      Fruits are taken for
                          coughs, colds, and
                          gastrointestinal
                          disorders

Solanum nigrum            Whole plant is taken
                          for stomachache,
                          headache, hot eyes,
                          and faucitis

Pyrola rotundifolia       Used for cough,
                          wounds, and
                          menstrual disorders

Origanum vulgare          Used for colds,
                          fever, vomiting, and
                          menstrual disorder

Lepidium apetalum         Seeds are applied
                          for fending offthe
                          cold and coughs and
                          nourishing

Cynanchum wilfordii       Roots are taken for
                          weakness and kidney
                          problems

Metaplexis japonica       Used for cough,
                          dizziness, and
                          urethra problems

Verbena officinalis       Whole plant is used
                          for wounds,
                          dermatological
                          infections, and
                          menstrual disorders

Leonurus                  Used for menstrual
pseudomacranthus          disorders and kidney
                          and urethra problems

Veronicastrum             Whole plant and
sibiricum                 roots are taken for
                          cough, fever, and
                          headache

Daucus carota             Fruits are applied
                          on invigorating
                          stomach, coughs,
                          nourishing,
                          cystolith, and
                          kidney stone

Diospyros lotus           Fruit juice is
                          applied for malaria,
                          diarrhea, and
                          removal of black
                          spots

Anaphalis sinica          Whole plant is used
                          for fever, cough,
                          and gastrointestinal
                          disorders

Ranunculus                Used for phlegm,
sceleratus                menstrual disorder,
                          and diuresis

Bidens parviflora         Whole plant is used
                          for cough,
                          dermatological
                          infections, and
                          gastrointestinal
                          disorders

Cephalanoplos             Used for cough,
segetum                   kidney, and urethra
                          problems

Artemisia annua           Used for fever,
                          intestinal tract
                          disease, and skin
                          disease

Arctium lappa             Fruits are taken for
                          coughs, fever, and
                          sore swollen throat

Species                   Phytochemical/
                          pharmacological
                          properties
                          (literature review)

Portulaca oleracea        Alkaloid extract may
                          possess anti-
                          inflammatory
                          properties [21]

Iris lactea               Containing more than
                          seven kinds of
                          flavonoids [22], but
                          seldom
                          pharmacological
                          research

Gymnadenia conopsea       Antiallergic effect
                          [23]

Houttuynia cordata        Anti-inflammatory
                          and virucidal
                          effects [24, 25]

Humulus scandens          Antibacterial,
                          antihypertensive,
                          and antiphlogistic
                          properties [26]

Polygonum viviparum       Antioxidative
                          activity [27, 28]

Rumex acetosa             Antimutagenicity and
                          antigenotoxic
                          activity [29], but
                          seldom
                          pharmacological
                          research

Plantago depressa         Hypoglycemia and
                          lipids regulating
                          effects [30]

Polygonum aviculare       Diuretic,
                          antihypertensive,
                          antibacterial, and
                          antioxidant effect
                          [31]

Carum carvi               Antioxidant,
                          hepatoprotective,
                          and diuretic
                          properties [32, 33]

Pseudostellaria           Antifungal and
heterophylla              immunostimulating
                          activities [34, 35]

Xanthium sibiricum        Bacteriostatic and
                          antifungal
                          activities [36, 37]

Tribulus terrestris       Having several
                          effects on central
                          neural system, sex
                          function, and
                          muscular system [38]

Ranunculus japonicas      Analgesic and anti-
                          inflammatory effects
                          [39]

Paeonia obovate           Hypoglycemic
                          activity and
                          immunocompetence
                          ofpaeoniflorin [40]

Thlaspi arvense           Antibacterial and
                          antifungal
                          activities [41]

Sedum aizoon              Improving the immune
                          function and
                          relieving swelling
                          and pain [42]

Plantago asiatica         Antiviral and
                          immunomodulatory
                          effects [43]

Sanguisorba               Antimicrobial
officinalis               activity [44]

Lonicera japonica         Anti-inflammatory
                          activity [45]

Valeriana                 Having effect on
officinalis               circulatory system
                          and respiratory
                          system [46]

Polygonatum               Hypoglycemic effects
odoratum                  [47]

Acorus calamus            Reduction of body
                          temperature and
                          potentiation
                          ofhypnotic activity
                          [48]

Lespedeza cuneata         Contains tannins
                          [49]

Oxalis acetosella         Seldom report on
                          physiological
                          activity

Geranium sibiricum        Antibacterial and
                          anti-inflammatory
                          activities [50]

Sophora flavescens        Contains matrine
                          [51]

Actinidia argute          Contains
                          sesquiterpenes,
                          monoterpenes,
                          benzene, and other
                          compounds [52]

Daphne giraldii           Anti-inflammatory
                          analgesic activity
                          [53]

Astragalus                Contains
chrysopterus              soyasaponin,
                          triterpenoid,
                          glycoside
                          daucosterol, beta-
                          sitosterol, and
                          other compounds [54]

Lespedeza bicolor         Contains ethyl
                          caffeate, caffeic
                          acid, protocatechuic
                          acid, betulinic
                          acid, [beta]-
                          sitosterol, and many
                          active compounds
                          [55]

Asarum sieboldii          Antinociceptive
                          effects [56]

Hippophae rhamnoides      Antioxidant and
                          immunomodulatory
                          properties [57]

Solanum nigrum            Gastric
                          antiulcerogenic
                          effects [58]

Pyrola rotundifolia       Anti-inflammatory
                          and analgesic
                          activities [59]

Origanum vulgare          Antimicrobial and
                          cytotoxic activities
                          [59]

Lepidium apetalum         Contains flavonoids
                          [60]

Cynanchum wilfordii       Contains more than
                          eight c21 steroidal
                          glycosides [61]

Metaplexis japonica       Anticancer activity
                          and improving immune
                          function [62]

Verbena officinalis       Anti-inflammatory
                          and analgesic
                          activity [63]

Leonurus                  Seldom report on
pseudomacranthus          physiological
                          activity

Veronicastrum             Anti-inflammatory
sibiricum                 and analgesic
                          activities [64]

Daucus carota             Hepatoprotective
                          activity [65]

Diospyros lotus           Antioxidant and
                          antiproliferative
                          activity [66]

Anaphalis sinica          More than twenty
                          components were
                          isolated and many
                          flavonoids were
                          identified [67]

Ranunculus                Many chemical
sceleratus                compounds were
                          detected [68], but
                          seldom
                          pharmacological
                          research

Bidens parviflora         Antihyperlipidemia,
                          anti-inflammatory
                          activities and
                          protecting stomach
                          [22]

Cephalanoplos             Contains high
segetum                   content of
                          chlorogenic acid
                          [69], but seldom
                          pharmacological
                          research

Artemisia annua           Antibacterial and
                          antioxidant
                          activities [70]

Arctium lappa             Anti-inflammatory
                          activity [71]

                           Local use coherent with
Species                       known phytochemi-
                             cal/pharmacological
                                  properties

Portulaca oleracea                   Yes

Iris lactea                        Unknown

Gymnadenia conopsea                  Yes

Houttuynia cordata                   Yes

Humulus scandens                     Yes

Polygonum viviparum                Partial

Rumex acetosa                      Partial

Plantago depressa                    Yes

Polygonum aviculare                  Yes

Carum carvi                          Yes

Pseudostellaria                      Yes
heterophylla

Xanthium sibiricum                   Yes

Tribulus terrestris                Partial

Ranunculus japonicas                 Yes

Paeonia obovate                    Partial

Thlaspi arvense                    Partial

Sedum aizoon                         Yes

Plantago asiatica                    Yes

Sanguisorba                          Yes
officinalis

Lonicera japonica                    Yes

Valeriana                            Yes
officinalis

Polygonatum                        Partial
odoratum

Acorus calamus                       Yes

Lespedeza cuneata                  Unknown

Oxalis acetosella                  Unknown

Geranium sibiricum                   Yes

Sophora flavescens                 Unknown

Actinidia argute                   Partial

Daphne giraldii                      Yes

Astragalus
chrysopterus                       Partial

Lespedeza bicolor                  Partial

Asarum sieboldii                     Yes

Hippophae rhamnoides                 Yes

Solanum nigrum                     Partial

Pyrola rotundifolia                  Yes

Origanum vulgare                     Yes

Lepidium apetalum                  Unknown

Cynanchum wilfordii                Partial

Metaplexis japonica                Partial

Verbena officinalis                  Yes

Leonurus                           Unknown
pseudomacranthus

Veronicastrum                        Yes
sibiricum

Daucus carota                      Partial

Diospyros lotus                      Yes

Anaphalis sinica                   Partial

Ranunculus                         Unknown
sceleratus

Bidens parviflora                    Yes

Cephalanoplos                      Unknown
segetum

Artemisia annua                      Yes

Arctium lappa                        Yes

Figure 3: Percentage distributions of medicinal plant species
according to life form.

Herbs        82%
Shrubs       12%
Climbers      6%

Note: Table made from pie chart.
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