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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 340215, 51 pages
Review Article

Bidens pilosa L. (Asteraceae): Botanical Properties, Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacology

1Institute of Chemistry, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines
2Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei 115, Taiwan
3Institute of Pharmacology, Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan
4Department of Life Sciences, National Chung-Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
5Institute of Zoology, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
6Department of Aquaculture, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 20224, Taiwan

Received 31 January 2013; Accepted 29 April 2013

Academic Editor: Gail B. Mahady

Copyright © 2013 Arlene P. Bartolome 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.


There are 230 to 240 known Bidens species. Among them, Bidens pilosa is a representative perennial herb, globally distributed across temperate and tropical regions. B. pilosa has been traditionally used in foods and medicines without obvious adverse effects. Despite significant progress in phytochemical and biological analyses of B. pilosa over the past few years, comprehensive and critical reviews of this plant are anachronistic or relatively limited in scope. The present review aims to summarize up-to-date information on the phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology of B. pilosa from the literature. In addition to botanical studies and records of the traditional use of B. pilosa in over 40 diseases, scientific studies investigating the potential medicinal uses of this species and its constituent phytochemicals for a variety of disorders are presented and discussed. The structure, bioactivity, and likely mechanisms of action of B. pilosa and its phytochemicals are emphasized. Although some progress has been made, further rigorous efforts are required to investigate the individual compounds isolated from B. pilosa to understand and validate its traditional uses and develop clinical applications. The present review provides preliminary information and gives guidance for further basic and clinical research into this plant.