Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Therapeutic Use of Some Romanian Medicinal Plants

Written By

Adina-Elena Segneanu, Claudiu Cepan, Ioan Grozescu, Florentina Cziple, Sorin Olariu, Sonia Ratiu, Viorica Lazar, Sorin Marius Murariu, Silvia Maria Velciov and Teodora Daniela Marti

Submitted: July 23rd, 2018 Reviewed: November 11th, 2018 Published: January 9th, 2019

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.82477

Chapter metrics overview

1,163 Chapter Downloads

View Full Metrics


Romanian traditional medicine has an extremely old history. The Dacian knowledge of the curative properties of medicinal plants was documented by Herodotus, Hippocrates, Galen, and Dioscorides. It must be emphasized that modern chemical screening has confirmed the therapeutic properties of the medicinal plants used by the Dacians. More interesting is that Dacians used many of these herbs for different dishes. Practically, for Dacians, food was medicine. Recent research on some Romanian medicinal plants has highlighted their pharmacognostical importance. It is known that currently, the importance and dynamics of the research on medicinal plants in the area of drug discovery continues to increase worldwide. The main reason is not only the high efficiency of secondary metabolites in case of serious diseases (cancer, viral infections, malaria, etc.) but also the minimization of the side effects of the synthetic drugs.


  • Dacians
  • phytotherapy
  • secondary metabolites

1. Introduction

Phytotherapy has always played an essential role in the development of humanity. Traditional medicine still continues to have major importance in many areas of the world, especially in low-income regions [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

Although in developed countries, alternative medicine has been outdated by modern medical techniques, at present, there is a growing trend toward natural remedies. The importance of medicinal plants emerges from the fact that worldwide, almost 50% of existing synthetic medicaments are derived from natural extracts [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

The main ancient medicinal systems are considered to be: Ayurvedic, Greek, and Chinese medicine [8, 9]. However, there are very few documents about Dacian medicine, considered by their contemporaries and later by archeological evidence as highly advanced [8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21].

In traditional Romanian medicine, almost all the natural remedies taken from the Dacians are found [8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23].


2. Romanian medicinal plants

Romanian phytotherapy is an important part of our natural and cultural heritage. In this respect, it should be emphasized that in the flora of Romania, there are about 4000 plant species, of which over 20% are medicinal plants. Scientific research has confirmed the therapeutic properties of almost 50% of Romanian medicinal plants and about 25% plants are already used to obtain botanical products on large scale [2, 4, 5, 12, 23].

Between the Romanian people and traditional medicine, there was always a very deep connection. Basically, through the entire evolution of Romanians, healing herbs played an important role. Daco-Getic civilization was considered as the most evolved society at that time in Europe [10, 12, 18]. The Dacian’s vast knowledge about healing plants has been certified by several personalities of those times (Herodotus, Discorides, Tucidide, Pseudo-Apuleius, Ovid, Virgil, etc.) [10, 12, 13, 17, 18]. The Dacian’s knowledge about medicine, surgery, phytotherapy, and astronomy was confirmed by historical documents and archeological evidence [11, 12, 18].

In fact, the life philosophy of our ancestors proves to be more current than ever. In this regard, it must be mentioned that the Dacians knew the psychosomatic concept and the interdependence between the psychological and the somatic factors that triggered different affections [10, 11, 12, 13, 18]. This is not only extremely interesting but at the same time extremely rare for that time period. It must be underlined that psychosomatic medicine was recognized as a branch of medicine only many centuries later.

According to the Dacians, the human body represents a complex energy system which maintains the physical body [10, 12, 18].

Our ancestors believed that there was a perfect balance between man and nature. Each plant or tree is a being to be respected. Thus, plant harvesting must take place only at a certain time of year, when the plant is mature and the concentration of active principles is maximal. For instance, Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) is collected on the morning of August 15 [11, 12, 16, 18].

Their complex information about therapeutic botanicals was appreciated as being very impressive and different ancient historical texts [8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 20, 21]. In the first pharmacopoeia, Discorides mentioned over 700 different medical plants and about 6% were presented as Dacian origin [8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 20, 21].

Complementary to phytotherapy, various products of mineral origin were used, of which the most well known are: limestone powder (hemostatic effect), volcanic tuff (healing effect), etc.

Thermal springs are used as natural remedies for bone diseases or circulatory system disorders. In this respect, they were highly appreciated the waters of Geoagiu Bath, known by the Dacians as Germisara [11, 12, 13, 18].

Fumigations of cannabis were used as anesthetic and analgesic, mainly in labor and childbirth.

Also, Dacians paid special attention to medical preventive measures. Thus, they treated the clothing with extracts of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) [4, 5, 24] and wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) [4, 5, 25]. Scientific screenings of these two plants have highlighted the fact that lavender has antibacterial properties and wormwood is a disinfecting agent [11, 12, 13, 18].

Moreover, the inclusion of different healing herbs in the Dacian diet once again reveals their profound knowledge on plant’s active principles. Basically, for Dacians, food was more than a way to ensure daily nutrient needs, it was mainly a medicine per se. In this regard, we can remember some of the most commonly used healing herbs in Dacian and later Romanian cuisine: malva (Althaea officinalis), stinging nettle (Urtica dioicaL.), dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis), daisy (Bellis perennis), allheal (Prunella vulgaris), thyme (Thymus vulgarisL.), borange (Boranga officinalis), hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), and fat grass (Portulaca oleracea) [8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23].

In fact, modern studies have identified in these natural products different secondary metabolites with high biological activity [9, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83]. The main bioactive compounds and their therapeutic effect are summarized in Table 1.

Plant nameMain secondary metabolites identifiedTherapeutic effectReferences
DandelionFlavonoids, phenols, fatty acidsHepatoprotective, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antitumoral [82][4, 5, 12, 15, 16, 19, 23, 66, 82]
DaisySaponins, triterpenes, anthocyanins, polyphenols, flavonoidsAntimicrobial, neuroprotective, cicatrizating effect, emollient, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, hemostatic[4, 5, 12, 15, 16]
AllhealTannins, sterols, phenolic acids, alkaloidsAstringent, hemostatic agent, cicatrizating effect[4, 5, 12, 15, 16]
BorangoFatty acids, alkaloidsAnti-inflammatory, antitumoral, antidiabetes, cardioprotective, immunomodulatory agent[4, 5, 12, 15, 16, 78]
HogweedCoumarine, lignans, flavonoidsNeuroprotective, antioxidant, anticancer, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory[4, 5, 12, 15, 16, 79]
Fat grass (Dacian name: Iaca)Vitamins (A, C, B), fatty acids (omega 3), proteins, saponins, phenolic acids, coumarine, flavonoids, coenzyme Q10, alkaloidsCicatrizating effect, wound healing, antibacterial, antipyretic, depurative, diuretic, regenerative

Table 1.

Main bioactive compounds of some healing herbs included in Dacian’s diet.

The Dacian’s botanical preparations were quite diverse from decocts, infusions, oilments, plant mixtures to fumigations. This proves the Dacians knew how to extract or capitalize on the active principles of the healing plants [8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21].

Table 2 summarized some of these plants used by Dacians and their therapeutic recommendations.

Dacian medicinal plantScientific name of plantDacian therapeutic recommendation
AniarsexeOnobrychis viciifolia(Fabaceae)Diuretic, abscess, sudorific
IonitsAconitum napellus(Ranunculaceae)Astringent, antidote (snake bite), poison for arrows
SopitisAristolochia clematitisAnalgesic, contraceptive, anti-inflammatory
DacinaAdonis vernalis(Ranunculaceae)Diuretic, analgesic, cardiotonic
BoudathlaAnchusa officinalis(Boraginaceae)Sudorific, diuretic, anti-inflammatory effect, respiratory infections
CinouboilaBryonia alba L.(Cucurbitaceae)Antibacterial, depigmentation effects, antiepileptic, snake bite antidote (viper venom), headaches, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, induce abortion, wet cough, hemostatic agent, induce lactation
CoadamaAlisma plantago-aquatica L. (Alismataceae)Astringent, dermatologic diseases (irritation, inflammations)
CoicolidaPhysalis alkekengi L. (Solanaceae)Hepatoprotective, diuretic, laxative, edema
DielleinaHyoscyamus niger L. (Solanaceae)Analgesic, hallucinogenic, hypnotic, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, hemostatic, antibacterial, antipyretic, toothache, sedative, psychomotricity
DiesemaVerbascum phlomoides L. (Scrophulariaceae)Astringent, diarrhea, antitussive, antispastic, toothache, analgesic, cicatrizating effect, expectorant, anti-inflammatory
DoctilaAjuga chamaepitys L. (Lamiaceae)Liver disease, sciatica pain relief
DuodelaAchillea millefolium L. (Asteraceae)Anti-inflammatory, gallbladder relief, antiasthmatic, hemorrhoids, stimulating appetite, detoxifying, sedative, analgesic, antiviral, liver diseases, cicatrizating effect, antitussive digestive diseases
DynUrtica dioica L. (Urticaceae)Wound healing, anti-inflammatory, antitumoral, abscess, hemostatic, aphrodisiac, expectorant, cicatrizating effect, antimicrobial, detoxifying, disinfectant
GuoletaLithospermum arvense L. (Boraginaceae)Nephrolithiasis, diuretic
MalvaMallow sylvestris(Malvaceae)Anti-inflammatory activity, cicatrizating effect, laxative, respiratory disorders
MendrutaVeratrum album(Melanthiaceae)Anti-inflammatory, antispastic, antibacterial (dysentery), hypotensive
MizelaThymus vulgaris L. (Lamiaceae)Anti-inflammatory, antiasthmatic, increase fertility, anthelmintic, antiedema
PriadilaClematis vitalba L. (Ranunculaceae).Diuretic, analgesic, antiepileptic, antitussive, hair growth, dizziness
PropodilaPotentilla reptans L. (Rosaceae)Toothache, anti-inflammatory for diseases of oral and pharyngeal cavity, antiviral, detoxifying, antipyretic, cicatrizating effect
RiborastaArctium lappa(Asteraceae)Anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, antimicrobial, cicatrizating effect, detoxifying effect
SaliaDatura stramonium L. (Solanaceae)Anti-inflammatory, diuretic, menstrual induction, psychomotricity
SciareDipsacus pilosus L. (Caprifoliaceae)Anti-inflammatory, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, antivral
StirsozilaErythraea centaurium Pers. (Gentianaceae)Cicatrizating effect, wound healing, biliary dyskinesia, menstrual induction, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, induce abortion, eye infections, sedative
TendilaMentha piperita L. (Lamiaceae)Snake bite treatment, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic, detoxifying, antispastic
UsazilaCynoglossum officinale L. (Boraginaceae)Hair growth, laxative, cicatrizating effect, wound healing

Table 2.

A brief overview of most popular Dacian medicinal plants.

It is quite remarkable that Dacian’s therapeutic recommendations were corroborated by thorough scientific studies on those medicinal plants [8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84]. This is further evidence of the fact that the Dacians had in-depth knowledge of phytotherapy, for which they were also appreciated by the great scientists of antiquity.

Table 3summarized the main phytochemicals identified in Dacian healing herbs and their biological activity.

Herb nameScientific name of plantMain chemical compositionBiological activity
Aniarsexe (Sparceta)Onobrychis viciifolia(Fabaceae)Tanins, flavons, proteins, minerals (Cu, Ca, P)Anti-inflammatory, detoxifying action, urinary diseases, sexual dysfunctions, hypoglycemic, anticholesterolemic, etc. [4, 5, 26]
CinouboilaBryonia alba(Cucurbitaceae)Flavonoids,cucurbitacins, sterols, lectins, aminoacids, etc.Wound healing, hemostatic, diuretic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, antiatherosclerotic agent, rheumatism, antitumoral activity [4, 5, 27, 28, 29]
WolfsbaneAconitum napellus(Ranunculaceae)Aconite (alkaloid)Antirheumatic, analgesic, neuralgia, respiratory tract disorders, anti-inflammatory activity, etc. [4, 5, 30, 31, 32]
Pheasant’s eyeAdonis vernalis(Ranunculaceae)Flavons, quinones, saponins, coumarins, etc.Sedative, diuretic, cardiotonic effect [83, 84]
MallowMallow sylvestris(Malvaceae)Phenols, terpenoids, flavonoids, vitamins (A,B,C,E), minerals (Fe, Zn, Ca, Se, K, Mg), mucilage, inulinAnti-inflammatory activity, asthma, respiratory diseases, antimicrobial, kidney infections, wound healing, dermatological diseases (eczema, acne), antioxidant, hepatoprotective, anticancer [4, 5, 34, 35, 82]
Budathla (ox tongue)Anchusa officinalis(Boraginaceae)Flavonoids, polyphenols, choline, allantoinAntioxidant, antimicrobial, wound healing, emollient, antitumoral, expectorant, diuretic, analgesic, etc. [4, 5, 36]
Common water-plantainAlisma plantago-aquatica(Alismataceae)Terpenoids, phenolic acids, sterols, alkaloids,Antibacterial, antialergic anti-cholesterolemic, diaphoretic, diuretic, hypoglycemic, hypotensive [36]
Winter cherryPhysalis alkekengi(Solanaceae)Alkaloids (solanină și fisolină), vitamins (C), glucocorticoids, lycopeneDiuretic, laxative, anti-inflammatory activity, sedative, hepatoprotective, analgesic, antiseptic [37, 38, 39]
Black henbaneHyoscyamus niger L. (Solanaceae)Alkaloids (hyoscyamine, scopolamine and atropine), flavonoids, lignans, phenols, coumarin, saponins, glycosidesSedative, analgesic, antispasmodic, hypnotic, hallucinogenic, hypotensive, antimicrobial [4, 5, 40]
MulleinVerbascum phlomoides L. (Scrophulariaceae)Phenols, terpenes, sterols, fatty acids, alkaloids, glycosidesAnti-inflammatory activity, wound healing, antispasmodic, anthelmintic, expectorant, antifungal effect, diuretic [41, 42, 43]
Yellow bugleAjuga chamaepitys L. (Lamiaceae)Tanins, alkaloids, anthocyanins, sterols, terpenes, glycosides, essential acidsDiuretic, anti-inflammatory activity, tonic, anti-microbial, antioxidant activity, antirheumatic, anthelmintic, antifungal effect [44, 45, 46]
YarrowAchillea millefolium L. (Asteraceae)Flavonoids, choline, sterols, vitamin K, volatile oils, taninsAnti-inflammatory activity, hemostatic, wound healing, analgesic, disinfectant, antispasmodic, gastroprotective, astringent, hypotensive, antitumoral [4, 5, 47, 48]
Stinging nettleUrtica dioica L. (Urticaceae)Coumarine, sterols, terpenoids, carotenoids (β-carotene lutein and lycopene) fatty acids, poly-phenols, amino acids, chlorophyll, vitamins (A,C,B D,E,F,K,P), tannins, carbohydrates, sterols polysaccharides, isolectins, minerals (Fe, Ca, Zn, Co, Na, Cr, I, S, Cu), lignansDiuretic, anemia, laxative, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, antimicrobial, hypoglycemic, anti-histamine effect, hemostatic [4, 5, 49]
GromwellLithospermum canescens(Boraginaceae)Phenolic acids, flavonoids, vitamins, sterols, phenols, allantoinSedative, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, diuretic, antiseptic, colargol, antipruritic, contraceptive [4, 5, 50]
False helleboreVeratrum album(Melanthiaceae)Alkaloids, fatty acids, sterols, amino acidsAntithrombotic activity, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic [4, 5, 51, 52]
ThymeThymus vulgaris L. (Lamiaceae)Terpene, flavonoids, antiviral, essential oils, taninsAnti-inflammatory, antitussive, antiseptic, antimicrobial, astringent, antihelmintic, tonic, carminative, disinfectant [4, 5, 53, 54, 55]
Old man’s beardClematis vitalba L(Ranunculaceae)Terpenoids, saponins, volatile acids, alkaloidsDiuretic, diuretic, analgesic, diuretic, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory agent, antipyretic, antirheumatic [4, 5, 56, 57, 58]
Creeping cinquefoilPotentilla reptans L. (Rosaceae)Tanins, flavonoids, terpenes, anthocyanins, phenolic acidsAnti-inflammatory, antimicrobial activity, hypoglycemic hepatoprotective, anticancer effect, spasmolytic [4, 5, 59, 60, 61]
BurdockArctium lappa(Asteraceae)Tanins, minerals (K), vitamins (B), volatile oils, phenolic acidsHypoglycemic, detoxifying, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, regenerating activity, hair growth, hepatoprotective, diuretic, anticancer, antidiabetic, antiviral activities, hypolipidemic [4, 5, 62, 63]
Jimson weedDatura stramonium L. (Solanaceae)Alkaloids (atropine, scopolamine), saponins, lignins, sterol, tannins, flavonoids, carbohydrates, proteinsAnalgesic, antiasthmatic activities, antimicrobial, wound healing, purgative [4, 5, 64]
TeaselDipsacus pilosus L. (Caprifoliaceae)Phenolic acids, terpeneStomatologic, analgesic, blood circulation, anti-inflammatory, powerful remedy for Lyme disease [65]
CentauryErythraea centaurium Pers. (Gentianaceae)Terpenoids, phenolic acids, flavonoids, xanthones, volatile oils, coumarine, fatty acids, polysaccharidesTonic, purgative, sedative, antipyretic, antihelmintic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and diuretic properties, antidiabetic activity antimicrobial activity, gastroprotective, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism [4, 5, 67, 68, 69]
peppermintMentha piperita L(Lamiaceae)Volatile oils, flavonoid glycosidesAstringent, analgesic, antiseptic, antioxidant, antispasmodic, cardioprotective, antiviral, bacteriostatic, anthelmintic, anti-protozoal, immunomodulatory, antiparasitic, carminative, antiemetic, antiallergic, antitumoral [4, 5, 23, 70, 71]
BirthwortAristolochia clematitis(Magnoliiflorae)Terpenoids, alkaloids, tanins, flavonoids, glycosides, saponine, fatty oils, minerals, sterolsAphrodisiac, immunomodulatory, cicatrisant, wound healing, dermatological diseases (eczema, acne), analgesic, antitumoral, depurative, anti-inflammatory [4, 5, 24, 73, 74, 76]
HoundstongueCynoglossum officinale L. (Boraginaceae)Pyrrolizidine alkaloidsAntibacterial, antihemorrhagic, antiseptic, diuretic, anti-hyperlipidaemic, antidiabetic activity, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and non-central analgesic activities [4, 5, 72, 73]

Table 3.

Biological activity of main groups of natural compounds identified in Dacian medicinal plants.

Another aspect to be mentioned is the fact that the Dacian medicinal plants are also found in other important traditional medicinal systems, such as Chinese or Hindu medicine (Table 4).

Herb nameScientific name of plantChinese medicineIndian medicine/other medicine systems
AconiteAconitum napellusFever treatment and skin irritation [31, 32]
Water-plantainAlisma plantago-aquaticaAntitumor, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory agent [36]
BirthwortAristolochia clematitisAntispasmodic, antidote (snake venom), analgesic [73, 74, 76, 77]
Black henbaneHyoscyamus nigerAnalgesic, antispasmodic [40].
Old man’s beardClematis vitalba LAnti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, diuretic
BurdockArctium lappaAnti-inflammatory, cicatrizating effect, wound healing [62]
Jimson weedDatura stramoniumAnti-inflammatory, analgesic, cicatrizating effect, wound healing, antipyretic [64]

Table 4.

Some examples of Dacian medicinal plants recognized and used in the traditional medicine of other peoples.

Currently, some the Dacian healing herbs are appreciated worldwide for their nutritional values and even have found modern applications in several sectors of the industry (Table 5).

Herb nameOther uses of Dacian herbs
MallowEdible plant, cosmetic industry [81]
Stinging nettleEdible plant, cosmetic industry [4, 5, 51]
BurdockEdible plant [62]
CentauryCosmetic industry [4, 5, 67, 68, 69]
MintCosmetic industry, food industry [4, 5, 23, 67, 69, 70]
ThymeCosmetic industry, food industry [4, 5, 53, 54, 55]

Table 5.

Modern applications of Dacian healing plants.


3. Aristolochia clematitis: chemical screening of main phytoconstituients

Aristolochia clematitisis a highly regarded herb in traditional medicine and at the same time controversial due to the latest research that revealed the potential carcinogenic effect of aristolochic acid [73, 74, 76, 77, 85].

In an effort to identify the secondary metabolites from Aristolochia clematitis, the plant extract was analyzed in two different solvents (methanol and water). The plant material (Aristolochia clematitisleaves, young stems, and flowers) was obtained from a collection taken in 2017 in Timis, Romania. Plant sample was identified at Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara. The botanical material was dried and then finely ground in a ball mill. Separation of the main constituents from different parts of the botanical material was done using two different polar solvents: water and methanol. A plant sample (2 g) was placed in a 100-mL volumetric flask containing 45 mL of solvent. The resulting mixture was sonicated for 50 min at 40°C, with a frequency of 50 kHz. Then, the solution was filtered through a 0.25-μm pore size filter. Thus, four birthwort fractions were prepared: B1 (water extract from leaves and stems), B2 (methanol extract from flowers), B3 (water extract from leaves), and B4 (methanol extract from stems). Identification of the main compounds from the birthwort fractions, B1, B2, B3, and B4, was performed using TOF-MS method.


4. TOF-MS analysis

The mass spectra of birthwort fractions: B1–B4 (acquired in positive ion mode, in a mass range of 100–3000 m/z) are presented in Figure 1a–d.

Figure 1.

Figure 1 a-d. Positive ion mode TOF-MS of of birthwort fraction B1-B4. (1a) Positive ion mode TOF-MS of of birthwort fraction B1. (1 b) Positive ion mode TOF-MS of of birthwort fraction B2. (1c)Positive ion mode TOF-MS of of birthwort fraction B3. (1d) Positive ion mode TOF-MS of of birthwort fraction B4.

The results gained through mass spectrometry confirmed the presence of aristolochic acid in all four samples analyzed (m/z detected: 294, 293, 308, 355) among other secondary metabolites [86].

Further, thorough investigations are required to highlight:

  • the maximum concentration of phytoconstituients from that called perfect moment to harvest the plant and the composition of active principles from a randomly harvest plant;

  • validation of curative properties/cytotoxicity effects of plant extract depending on plant dosage (plant concentration, time, etc.).


5. Conclusions

Natural compounds are essential for the existence of humanity; this assertion has been demonstrated by the most modern researches which once again highlights the particular curative properties of phytochemicals isolated from medicinal plants known and appreciated since the earliest times.


  1. 1. Segneanu AE, Cepan C, Grozescu I, Cziple F, Olariu S, Ratiu S, Lazar V, Murariu SM, Velciov SM, Marti TD. Therapetic Use of Some Romanian Medicinal Plants. London: IntechOpen; 2018. DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.82477
  2. 2. Pârvu C. Universul Plantelor: Mică Enciclopedie. Bucuresti: Editura Enciclopedică; 1991
  3. 3. Stanescu U, Hancianu M, Cioanca O, Aprotosoaie A, Miron A. Medicinal Plants from A to Z. Iasi: Polirom; 2014. ISBN: 978-973-46-4943-3
  4. 4. Bujor O. The Guide of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants from A to Z. Bucuresti: Fiat Lux; 2003. ISBN: 973-9250-68-8
  5. 5. Allen DE, Hartfield G. Medicinal Plants in Folk Tradition—An Ethnobotany of Britain & Ireland. Portland, Oregon, USA: Timber Press; 2004. ISBN: 0-88192-638-8
  6. 6. Chikezie PC, Ojiako OA. Herbal Medicine: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Alternative and Integrative Medicine. 2015;4:3
  7. 7. Bhat JA, Kumar M, Bussmann RW. Ecological status and traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary of Garhwal Himalaya, India. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. 2013;9(1):1-18
  8. 8. Žuškin E, Lipozenčić J, Pucarin-Cvetković J, Mustajbegović J, Schachter N, Mučić-Pučić B, et al. Ancient medicine—A review. Acta Dermatovenerologica Croatica. 2008;16(3):149-157
  9. 9. Subbarayappa BV. The roots of ancient medicine: An historical outline. Journal of Biosciences. 2001;26(2 June):135-144
  10. 10. Iliescu V, Popescu V, Stefan G. Izvoare Privind Istoria României (Fontes ad HistoriamDacoromaniae pertinentes). Vol. I. București: De la Hesiod la Itinerarul lui Antoninus; 1964
  11. 11. Crisan IH. Medicine in Dacia. Dacica; 2007. ISBN: 978-97388076-24
  12. 12. Herodot, The Histories. Vol. 1-2. Stiintifica; 1961
  13. 13. Popovici R. At the Table with the Ancestors. Dacia; 2011. pp. 1-4
  14. 14. Claudian I. Food of the Romanian People in Anthropogeography and History, Foundation for Literature and ArtKing Carol II. București. 1939
  15. 15. Carciumaru M. Plants used by traco-geto-dacians (Attempt of synthesis) (V). Thraco-Dacica. 1987;VIII(1-2):171-176
  16. 16. Dioscorides, De Materia Medica, Osbaldeston (Tess Anne). Johannesburg, South Africa: Ibidis Press; 2000. ISBN: 0-620-23435-0
  17. 17. Desunsianu N. Dacia Preistorica. Bucuresi: Arhetip; 2002. ISBN: 9739296-33-5
  18. 18. Paraschiv-Claudius M. The Human Natural Food Treaty. Bucuresti: Christalin; 2003. ISBN: 973-86515-0-6
  19. 19. Bologa VL. Sinonimele “Dacice” ale Plantelor Descrise de Dioscorides pot Servi la Reconstituirea Limbii Dacice? în “Dacoromania”. Cluj; 1927-1928. pp. 570-575
  20. 20. Drăgulescu C, Drăgulescu R. Contribuţii la cunoaşterea limbii geto-dacilor. Denumirile dacice de plante. Sibiu: Editura Universităţii “Lucian Blaga”; 2000
  21. 21. Váczy C. Nomenclatura dacică a plantelor la Dioscorides şi Pseudo –Apuleius. Acta Musei Napocensi. 1971;VIII:109-133
  22. 22. Fierascu RC, Fierascu I, Ortan A, Avramescu SM, Dinu-Pirvu CE, Ionescu D. In: El-Shemy HA, editor. Romanian Aromatic and Medicinal Plants: From Tradition to Science, Aromatic and Medicinal Plants. Rijeka, Croatia: IntechOpen; 2017. DOI: 10.5772/66513
  23. 23. Pogăciaş A. The Dacian Society—Fierce Warriors And Their Women Sources And Representations. Hiperboreea Journal. 2017;4(1):5-22
  24. 24. Scarborough J. Ancient medicinal use ofAristolochia: Birthwort’s tradition and toxicity. Pharmacy in History. 2011;53(1)
  25. 25. Abroomand AP, Torabbeigi M, Sharifan A, Tehrani MS. Chemical composition and antibacterial activity of the essential oil ofLavandula angustifoliaisolated by solvent free microwave assisted extraction and hydrodistillation. Journal of Food Biosciences and Technology, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch. 2011;1:19-24
  26. 26. Shirwaikar A, Khan S, Kamariya YH, Patel BD, Gajera FP. Medicinal plants for the management of post menopausal osteoporosis: A review. The Open Bone Journal. 2010;2:1-13
  27. 27. Ielciu I, Frédérich M, Tits M, Angenot L, Păltinean R, Cieckiewicz E, et al.Bryonia Alba L. andEcballium elaterium(L.) A. Rich.—Two related species of theCucurbitaceaeFamily with important pharmaceutical potential. Farmácia. 2016;64:3
  28. 28. Manvi M, Prasad Garg G. Evaluation of pharma-cognostical parameters and hepatoprotective activity inBryonia alba Linn. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research. 2011;3(6):99-109
  29. 29. Attard E, Cuschieri A, Brincat MP. Morphological effects induced byCucurbitacin E. on ovarian cancer cells in vitro. Journal of Natural Remedies. 2005;5(1):70-74
  30. 30. Povšnar M, Koželj G, Kreft S, Lumpert M. Rare tradition of the folk medicinal useof Aconitum spp. is kept alive in Solčavsko, Slovenia. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. 2017;13:45
  31. 31. Singh MK, Vinod M, Iyer SK, Khare G, Sharwan G, Larokar YK.Aconite: A pharmacological update. International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2012;3(2):242-246
  32. 32. Kiss T, Csupor D, Orvos P ea. Identification of diterpene alkaloids fromAconitum napellussubsp. firmum and GIRK channel activities of someAconitumalkaloids. Fitotherapia. 2013;90:85-93
  33. 33. Dipak P. A review on biological activities of common mallow (Malva sylvestris). Innovare Journal of Life Science. 2016;4(5)
  34. 34. Sleiman NH, Daher CF.Malva sylvestriswater extract: A potential anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcerogenic remedy. Planta Medica. 2009;75(9):PH10
  35. 35. Jakovljević D, Vasić S, Stanković M, Topuzović M, Čomić L. The content of secondary metabolites and in vitro biological activity ofAnchusa officinalis L. (Boraginaceae). Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge. 2016;15(4):587-593
  36. 36. Huang YS, Yu Q, Chen Y, Cheng M, Xie L. Phenolic constituents fromAlisma plantago-aquatica Linnaeusand their anti-chronic prostatitis activity. Chemistry Central Journal. 2017;11:120
  37. 37. Bahmani M, Rafieian-Kopaei M, Naghdi N, Mozaffari Nejad AS, Afsordeh O.Physalis alkekengi: A review of its therapeutic effects. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2016;9(3)
  38. 38. Namjoyan F, Jahangiri A, Azemi ME, Arkian E, Mousavi H. Inhibitory effects ofPhysalis alkekengiL.,Alcea roseaL.,Bunium persicumB. Fedtsch. andMarrubium vulgareL. on Mushroom Tyrosinase. Jundishapur Journal of Natural Pharmaceutical Products. 2015;10(1):e23356
  39. 39. Keshtkaran R, Vessal M. Effect of the hydroalcoholic extract of winter cherry fruits (Physalis alkekengi) on serum lipid profile and paraoxonase activity of healthy male rats. IJMS. 2004;29(4)
  40. 40. Alizadeh A, Moshiri M, Alizadeh J, Balali-Mood M. Black henbane and its toxicity—A descriptive review. AJP. 2014;4(5):297-311
  41. 41. Ali N, Shah SWA, Shah I, Ahmed G, Ghias M, Khan I, et al. Anthelmintic and relaxant activities ofVerbascum thapsusMullein. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2012;12:29
  42. 42. Jamshidi-Kia F, Lorigooini Z, Asgari S, Saeidi K. Iranian species ofVerbascum: A review of botany, phytochemistry, and pharmacological effects. Toxin Reviews. 2018. pp. 1-8
  43. 43. Tatli II, Akdemir ZS. Traditional uses and biological activities ofVerbascum species. Fabad Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2006;31:85-96
  44. 44. Turkoglu S, Turkoglu I, Kahyaoglu M, Celık S. Determination of antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of Turkish endemicAjuga chamaepitys(L.)Schrebersubsp.euphraticaP.H. Davis (Lamiaceae). Journal of Medicinal Plant Research. 2010;4(13):1260-1268
  45. 45. Topcua G, Kokdilb G, Turkmena Z, Voelterc W, Adoud E, Kingston DGI. A new Clerodane Diterpene and other constituents fromAjuga chamaepitysssp.Laevigata. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung. 2004;59b:584-588
  46. 46. Venditti A, Frezza C, Maggi F, Lupidi G, Bramucci M, Quassinti L, et al. Phytochemistry, micromorphology and bioactivities ofAjuga chamaepitys(L.)Schreb. (Lamiaceae,Ajugoideae): Two new harpagide derivatives and an unusual iridoid glycosides pattern. Fitoterapia. 2016;113. DOI: 10.1016/j.fitote.2016.06.016
  47. 47. Saeidnia S, Gohari AR, Mokhber-Dezfuli N, Kiuchi F. A review on phytochemistry and medicinal properties of the genusAchillea. Daru. 2011;19(3):173-186
  48. 48. Lakshmi T, Geetha RV, Anitha R, Aravind KS. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium Linn.). A herbal medicinal plant with broad therapeutic use—A review. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research. 2011;9(2):136-141. Article-022
  49. 49. Kregiel D, Pawlikowska E, Antolak H.Urtica spp.: Ordinary plants with extraordinary properties. Molecules. 2018;23:1664
  50. 50. Dreslera S, Szymczak G, Wojcik M. Comparison of some secondary metabolite content in the seventeen species of theBoraginaceaefamily. Pharmaceutical Biology. 2017;55(1):691-695
  51. 51. Mota AH. A review of medicinal plants used in therapy of cardiovascular diseases. International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research. 2016;8(4):572-591
  52. 52. Chandler CM, McDougal OM. Medicinal history of North AmericanVeratrum. Phytochemistry Reviews. 2014;13(3):671-694. DOI: 10.1007/s11101-013-9328-y
  53. 53. Prasanth RV, Kandisa RV, Varsha PV, Satyam S. Review onThymus vulgaristraditional uses and pharmacological properties. Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. 2014;3:3
  54. 54. Javed H, Erum S, Tabassum S, Ameen F. An overview on medicinal importance ofThymus vulgaris. Journal of Asian Scientific Research. 2013;3(10):974-982
  55. 55. Hosseinzadeh S, Kukhdan AJ, Hosseini A, Armand R. The application ofThymus vulgarisin traditional and modern medicine: A review. Global Journal of Pharmacology. 2015;9(3):260-266
  56. 56. Sun F, Qing H, Peigen X, Ishtiaq M, Yiyu C. Simultaneous quantification of five Triterpenoid Saponins inClematis L. spp. by high-performance liquid chromatography with evaporative light scattering detection. Phytochemical Analysis. 2008;19:40-45
  57. 57. Al-Taweel AM. Phytochemical and biological studies of someClematis speciesgrowing in Saudi Arabia [PhD thesis]. King Saud University; 2007
  58. 58. Yesilada E, Kupeli E.Clematis vitalba L. aerial part exhibits potent anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive and antipyretic effects. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2007;110:504-515
  59. 59. Radovanovic AM, Cupara SM, Popovic SLJ, Tomovic MT, Slavkovska VN, Jankovic SM. Cytotoxic effect ofPotentilla reptans L. rhizome and aerial part extracts. Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica. Drug Research. 2013;70(5):851-854
  60. 60. Borisova LV, Traicheva PN, Georgiev II. Optimization of biologically active substances extraction process fromPotentilla reptans L. aerial parts. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science. 2017;7(02):174-179
  61. 61. Tomovic M, Popovic-Milenkovic M, Jankovic S. Antimicrobial activity of aqueous extracts ofPotentilla reptansL. rhizome and aerial part. Serbian Journal of Experimental and Clinical Research. 2017:1
  62. 62. Chan YS, Cheng LN, Wu JH, Chan E, Kwan YW, Lee SMY, et al. A review of the pharmacological effects ofArctium Lappa(Burdock). Inflammopharmacology. 2010;19(5):245-254
  63. 63. El-Darier SM, Salama SG.Arctium lappaL. (Asteraceae); a new invasive highly specific medicinal plant growing in Egypt. Pyrex Journal of Plant and Agricultural Research. 2016;2(2):44-53
  64. 64. Sayyed A, Shah M. Phytochemistry, pharmacological and traditional uses ofDatura stramonium L. review. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. 2014;2(5):123-125
  65. 65. Ojovan A. Elements of Dacian dental medication. Journal Medicina Stomatologica. 2010;4(17):18-21. ISBN: 978-9975-52-006-5
  66. 66. Šiler B, Mišić D. Biologically active compounds from the genusCentaurium s.l.(Gentianaceae): Current knowledge and future prospects in medicine. Studies in Natural Products Chemistry. 2016;49:363-397
  67. 67. Jovanov D. Application of medicinal aromatic and spice plantsZingiber officinale,Mentha piperita,Rubus fructicosus,Malva silvestris,Fragaria vesca,Sambucus nigra,Cornus mascula,Taraxacum officinale,Erythraea centauriumand their phytotherapeutic action to protect against colon cancer. Agricultural Research & Technology: Open Access Journal. 2017;9(2):555758
  68. 68. Stoiko L, Dakhym I, Pokotylo O, Marchyshyn S. Polysaccharides inCentaurium erythraea Rafn. International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy. 2017;8(Suppl 2)
  69. 69. Singh R, Shushni MAM, Belkheir A. Antibacterial and antioxidant activities ofMentha piperitaL. Arabian Journal of Chemistry. 2015;8(3):322-328
  70. 70. Rita P, Animesh DK. An updated overview on peppermint (Mentha piperita L.). International Research Journal of Pharmacy. 2011;2(8):1-10
  71. 71. Pfister JA, Molyneux RJ, Baker DC. Pyrrolizidine alkaloid content of houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinaleL.). Journal of Range Management. 1992;45(3):254-256
  72. 72. Joshi K.CynoglossumL.—A review on phytochemistry and chemotherapeutic potential. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. 2016;5(4):32-33
  73. 73. Wu TS, Damu AG, Su CR, Kuo PC. Terpenoids ofAristolochiaand their biological activities. Natural Product Reports. 2004;2(1):594-624
  74. 74. Benmehdi H, Behilil A, Memmou F, Amrouche A. Free radical scavenging activity, kinetic behaviour and phytochemical constituents ofAristolochia clematitis L. roots. Arabian Journal of Chemistry. 2013
  75. 75. Bhupendra K, Pooja T, Anil K, Taslimahemad K, Indraneel S. TheArtemisia genus: A review on traditional uses, phytochemical constituents, pharmacological properties and germplasm conservation. Journal of Glycomics and Lipidomics. 2017;7:1
  76. 76. Samsonova OE, Belous VN, Dudar YA. Medicinal plants pharmacological characterization ofAristolochia clematitisL. growing in the Stavropol region. Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal. 2006;40(4)
  77. 77. Asadi-Samani M, Bahmani M, Rafieian-Kopaei M. The chemical composition, botanical characteristic and biological activities ofBorago officinalis: A review. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. 2014;7(Suppl 1):S22-S28
  78. 78. Bahadori MB, Dinparast L, Zengin G. The genusHeracleum: A comprehensive review on its phytochemistry, pharmacology, and ethnobotanical values as a useful herb. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 2016;15:1018-1039
  79. 79. Iranshahy M, Javadi B, Iranshahi M, Jahanbakhsh SP, Mahyari S, Hassani FV, et al. A review of traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology ofPortulaca oleraceaL. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2017;205:158-172
  80. 80. Al-Snafi AE. The pharmaceutical importance ofAlthaea officinalisandAlthaea rosea: A review. International Journal of PharmTech Research CODEN (USA). 2013;5(3):1378-1385
  81. 81. Choi UK, Lee OH, Yim JH, Cho CW, Rhee YK, Lim SI, et al. Hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root and leaf on cholesterol-fed rabbits. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2010;11:67-78
  82. 82. Ranfa A, Bodesmo M. An ethnobotanical investigation of traditional knowledge and uses of edible wild plants in the Umbria Region, Central Italy. Journal of Applied Botany and Food Quality. 2017;90:246-258
  83. 83. Agrawal T, Vidhypeeth B.Adonis vernalisa useful drug. Journal of Natural & Ayurvedic Medicine. 2018;2(6)
  84. 84. Butnariu M. Biodiversity of the phytoconstituents in the some plant species potentially toxic. Journal of Biodiversity and Endangered Species. 2017;5:1
  85. 85. Turesky RJ, Hwa Yun B, Brennan P, Mates D, Jinga V, Harnden P, et al. Aristolochic acid exposure in Romania and implications for renal cell carcinoma. British Journal of Cancer. 2016;114(1):76-80
  86. 86. Eckhardt G, Urzûa A, Cassels BK. Mass spectrometry of Aristolochic acids. Journal of Natural Products. 1983;46(1):92-97

Written By

Adina-Elena Segneanu, Claudiu Cepan, Ioan Grozescu, Florentina Cziple, Sorin Olariu, Sonia Ratiu, Viorica Lazar, Sorin Marius Murariu, Silvia Maria Velciov and Teodora Daniela Marti

Submitted: July 23rd, 2018 Reviewed: November 11th, 2018 Published: January 9th, 2019