Thursday, 28 April 2016

European medicinal and edible plants associated with subacute and chronic toxicity part II: Plants with hepato-, neuro-, nephro- and immunotoxic effects

Volume 92, June 01, 2016, Pages 38-49

Institute of Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Vrazov trg 2, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Primary Healthcare of Gorenjska, ZD Kranj, Gosposvetska ulica 10, Kranj, Slovenia
Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, Tržaška cesta 32, Ljubljana, Slovenia


A tremendous surge of public interest in natural therapies has been reported in the past several decades in both developing and developed countries. Furthermore, edible wild-growing plants whose use had long been associated with poverty and famine have also gained in popularity among people in developed countries. An important fraction of herbal products evade all control measures and are generally perceived as safe. However, this may not always be true. It is important to recognize that some plants are not associated with acute toxicity but rather produce more insidious problems, which develop only with long-term exposure. In this review, we continue a systematic analysis of the subacute and chronic toxicity associated with the use of herbal preparations. The hepato-, neuro-, nephro- and immunotoxicity of plant species that either grow natively or are cultivated in Europe are discussed in some detail. The basic concepts regarding the molecular mechanisms implicated in their nonacute toxicity and their pathophysiological, clinical and epidemiological characteristics are included. Among others, we discuss the hepatotoxicity of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, the nephrotoxicity of aristolochic acid, the lathyrism associated with neurotoxin swainsonine, thiamine depletion and thyroid dysfunction of herbal cause, and finally address also the immunosuppressive effects of cannabinoids. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Author keywords

European plants; Hepatotoxic; Immunosuppressive; Nephrotoxic; Neurotoxic; Thiamine depletion
ISSN: 02786915 CODEN: FCTODSource Type: Journal Original language: English
DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2016.03.014Document Type: Review
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd