Salvia miltiorrhiza is a well-known traditional Chinese herb, belongs to the family of Labiatae, is used in many parts of the world to treat various conditions due to their excellent medicinal values. It is rich sources of tanshinone I, tanshinone II, miltirone and salvianolic acid and a wide range of chemical compounds. Extracts of the plant, particularly those from the root, possess useful pharmacological activities. Particular attention has been given to anti-oxidant activity, anti-microbial activity, antivirus activity, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular disease and so on. An account of chemical constituents and biological activities is presented and a critical appraisal of the ethnopharmacological issues is included in view of the many recent findings of S. miltiorrhiza. The aim of this review is to up-date and to present a comprehensive analysis of traditional uses, pharmacological reports and phyto-constituents isolated from the plant.
Key words: Salvia miltiorrhiza, biological activities, medicinal plant.
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