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Advances in Pharmacological Sciences
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 510298, 22 pages
Review Article

The Genus Spilanthes Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacological Properties: A Review

1Department of Pharmacy, Periyar Maniammai University, Vallam, Thanjavur, TamilNadu 613403, India
2Pharmacognosy and Ethnopharmacology Division, National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow 226001, India
3Amity Institute of Herbal Product Research, Trivandrum, Kerala 695005, India

Received 6 September 2013; Accepted 23 September 2013

Academic Editor: Eduardo Munoz

Copyright © 2013 Jayaraj Paulraj et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Spilanthes spp. are popular, over-the-counter remedies; they are sold over the internet under various names and are widely used in traditional medicine in various cultures. This review will summarize the important reports on the ethnopharmacology, botany, phytochemistry, and pharmacological properties as described in the literature from recent years (1920 to 2013). Spilanthes spp. are used for more than 60 types of disorders. They are reported to contain a number of biologically active phytochemicals, although a large number of ethnopharmacological uses have been documented; only a few of these species have been investigated for their chemical and biological activities. The studies are carried out mainly on Spilanthes extracts and a few metabolites substantiate the uses of these plants in traditional medicine. Well-conducted pharmacological studies are still needed for several traditional indications, and the mechanisms of action by which the plant extracts and the active compounds exert their pharmacological effects remain to be studied. They are predominantly used as extracts in personal care products, traditional medicines, and the pharmaceutical and culinary areas. Suggestions are made regarding some of the possible mechanisms of action as to how the known compounds may exert their biological activity.