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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 698617, 14 pages
Review Article

Botanical, Pharmacological, Phytochemical, and Toxicological Aspects of the Antidiabetic Plant Bidens pilosa L.

Wen-Chin Yang1,2,3,4,5

1Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center, Academia Sinica, No. 128, Academia Sinica Road, Section 2, Nankang, Taipei 115, Taiwan
2Institute of Pharmacology, Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan
3Department of Life Sciences, National Chung-Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
4Institute of Zoology, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
5Department of Aquaculture, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 202, Taiwan

Received 4 October 2013; Accepted 27 November 2013; Published 29 January 2014

Academic Editor: Sharad Kr. Srivastava

Copyright © 2014 Wen-Chin Yang. 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.


Bidens pilosa L. is an easy-to-grow, widespread, and palatable perennial on earth. Hence, it has traditionally been used as foods and medicines without noticeable adverse effects. Despite significant advancement in chemical and biological studies of B. pilosa over the past few years, comprehensive and critical reviews on its anti-diabetic properties are missing. The present review is to summarize up-to-date information on the pharmacology, phytochemistry, and toxicology of B. pilosa, in regard to type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes from the literature. In addition to botanical studies and records of the traditional use of B. pilosa in diabetes, scientific studies investigating antidiabetic action of this species and its active phytochemicals are presented and discussed. The structure and biosynthesis of B. pilosa and its polyynes in relation to their anti-diabetic action and mechanism are emphasized. Although some progress has been made, rigorous efforts are further required to unlock the molecular basis and structure-activity relationship of the polyynes isolated from B. pilosa before their clinical applications. The present review provides preliminary information and gives guidance for further anti-diabetic research and development of this plant.