Pharmaceutical interest

Antioxidant properties: The juice expressed from the fruits of Viburnum dilatatum Thunb. shows strong antioxidant activity, inhibits gastric ulcer formation, lowers plasma, liver and stomach concentrations of lipid peroxide, lowers the activities of plasma lactic dehydrogenase, amylase and the creatine phosphokinase in rats when experimentally stressed (Iwai K et al., 2001), due to phenylethanoid glycosides, iridoid glycosides or flavonoids. The plant is known to produce unusual dammarane-type triterpenes called viburnols, such as viburnol K (Machida K et al., 1997), which might involve the anthelmintic property of Viburnum dilatatum Thunb., but this has yet to be confirmed.

Other pharmacological properties: Ursolic acid isolated from the aerial parts of Viburnum jucundum Morton is cytotoxic towards 3 human cancer cell lines cultured in vitro (Rios MY et al., 2001). A number of water-soluble polysac-charides isolated from the berries Viburnum opulus enhance phagocytosis

Fig. 362. Viburnum dilatatum Thunb. From Herbarium 14160. Field collector: H Ohashi, T Nakaike & Y Tateishi. 14 June 1970. Geographical localization: Japan, Shizuoka Pref., Izu Penin., Tanaga-gun, altitude: 400 m.

Viburno! K

OH O

Amentof!avone

OH O

Viburno! K

Amentof!avone and in particular, the phagocytic index, and boost the secretion of lysosomal enzymes with peritoneal macrophages (Ovodova RG et al., 2000). Methanol and ethyl acetate leaf extracts of Viburnum toronis Killip et Smith relax uterine and are analgesic at dosages of 250 mg/Kg (Calle J etal., 1999), confirming the empirical use of Viburnum species as myometrium sedative. Amentoflavone, a biflavonoid extracted from Viburnum lantana L., inhibits the enzymatic activity of human platelet cAMP phosphodiesterase with an IC50 value of 22.0 ßM (Beretz A etal., 1986).

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