Heracleum persicum is known as Persian Hogweed. H. persicum extracts and essential oil are important areas in drug development with numerous pharmacological activities in the Middle East especially in Iran. For a long time H. persicum has been used in traditional medicines for the relief of flatulence, stomachs as well as flavoring, as a digestive and an antiseptic. H. persicum has recently been shown to have antioxidant, anticonvulsant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities. Pimpinellin, isopimpinellin, bergapten, isobergapten and sphondin are furanocoumarins which are reported from roots of this plant. Hexyl butyrate, octyl acetate and hexyl-2-methylbutanoate were identified as the major constituents for H. persicum essential oil. Due to the easy collection of the plant and being widespread and also remarkable biological activities, this plant has become both food and medicine in Iran. This review presents comprehensive analyzed information on the botanical, chemical and pharmacological aspects of H. persicum.
Key words: Heracleum persicum, Apiaceae, antioxidant, anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory.
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