Ethnopharmacology of the Asteraceae family in Mexico

keywords: Compositae, ethnobotany, herbal medicine, natural compounds, traditional knowledge


Background: In Mexico, the Asteraceae are part of traditional knowledge where its members have several uses, but they are particularly remarkable in traditional medicine and are used for different purposes.

Questions: What pharmacologically studies have been carried out with Asteraceae species used in Mexican traditional medicine? What pharmacological activities have been tested? What compounds are responsible for the tested activities?

Species studied: Asteraceae species used in Mexican traditional medicine pharmacologically tested.

Methods: A database including scientific studies on Asteraceae species which studies on pharmacological activity or phytochemical characterization was compiled and analyzed.

Results: From 249 reviewed studies only 202 fulfilled the criteria for our analysis. A total of 101 species distributed in 65 genera and 16 tribes were registered. The tribes Heliantheae and Senecioneae were the most studied. Ageratina pichinchensis, Artemisia ludoviciana, Heliopsis longipes, and Heterotheca inuloides were the most studied species. In Mexico, the Asteraceae family is mainly used in the treatment of diseases or symptoms related to the digestive and respiratory systems. In 48 % of the studies some biocidal activity was evaluated but only 21.8 % included phytochemical characterizations.

Conclusions: The antimicrobial activity and phytochemical characterizations are the main kind of ethnopharmacological studies for Asteraceae in Mexico. Most of the compounds responsible for the activities have not been identified yet. The uses of Asteraceae in Mexico are similar to other countries emphasizing its cultural importance in the world. Mexican Asteraceae should be prioritized in conservation and bioscreening schemes.


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Author Biography

Virginia Gabriela Cilia-López, Coordinación para la Innovacción y Aplicación en Ciencia y Tecnología

Profesor Investigador de Tiempo Completo

Ethnopharmacology of the Asteraceae family in Mexico


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How to Cite
Cilia-López, V. G., Cariño-Cortés, R., & Zurita-Salinas, L. R. (2021). Ethnopharmacology of the Asteraceae family in Mexico. Botanical Sciences, 99(3), 455-486.