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Oplopanax elatus (Nakai) Nakai: chemistry, traditional use and pharmacology.

ABSTRACT

Oplopanax elatus (Nakai) Nakai, a member of the ancient angiosperm plant family Araliaceae, is used for the treatment of different disorders in the medicine systems of China, Russia, and Korea, and was designated in Russia as a classical adaptogen. Despite extensive studies of classical adaptogens, there are comparatively few reports concerning the chemical composition and pharmacological effects of O. elatus in English. The plant is a potential source of saponins, flavonoids, anthraquinones, terpenes, and other active compounds. Experimental studies and clinical applications have indicated that O. elatus possesses a number of pharmacological activities, including adaptogenic, anti-convulsant, anti-diabetic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, blood pressure modulating, and reproductive function effects. In this review, the chemistry, safety, and therapeutic potential of O. elatus are summarized and highlighted to encourage the further development of this plant.