Chalcone and dihydrochalcones are intermediates in the biosynthesis of flavonoids and isoflavonoids in plants. These compounds are widely investigated for their anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal, antifilarial, larvicidal, anticonvulsant, anti-rheumatoid and antioxidant activities and their use as food additives. Chalcones are considered to be an active ingredient in a large number of medicinal herbs. Further chemical investigation of these plants has now resulted in the isolation of chalcone and biologically active derivatives. Chalcone and their derivatives are an attractive molecular scaffold for the search of new biologically active molecules. This review provides a comprehensive analysis of the source plants, chemistry, structure-activity, pharmacological reports of chalcone and derivatives isolated and identified from plants. In recent years a considerable number of investigations conducted on the biological activities of these compounds suggested a wide range of clinical applications.
Key words: Chalcones, dihydrochalcones, derivatives, bioactives, flavonoids, phytochemistry.
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