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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 549174, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/549174
Review Article

Botanical Compounds: Effects on Major Eye Diseases

1Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA
2Dean A. McGee Eye Institute, 608 Stanton L Young Boulevard, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA
3College of Public Health, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA
4Department of Physiology, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA
5The Oklahoma Center for Neuroscience, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA

Received 1 March 2013; Accepted 22 May 2013

Academic Editor: Gail B. Mahady

Copyright © 2013 Tuan-Phat Huynh 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.

Abstract

Botanical compounds have been widely used throughout history as cures for various diseases and ailments. Many of these compounds exhibit strong antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic properties. These are also common damaging mechanisms apparent in several ocular diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and retinitis pigmentosa. In recent years, there have been many epidemiological and clinical studies that have demonstrated the beneficial effects of plant-derived compounds, such as curcumin, lutein and zeaxanthin, danshen, ginseng, and many more, on these ocular pathologies. Studies in cell cultures and animal models showed promising results for their uses in eye diseases. While there are many apparent significant correlations, further investigation is needed to uncover the mechanistic pathways of these botanical compounds in order to reach widespread pharmaceutical use and provide noninvasive alternatives for prevention and treatments of the major eye diseases.