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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 7584952, 36 pages
Review Article

The Genus Phyllanthus: An Ethnopharmacological, Phytochemical, and Pharmacological Review

1School of Chinese Materia Medica, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100102, China
2Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China
3Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
4Key laboratory of Chinese Internal Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100700, China

Received 22 January 2016; Revised 23 March 2016; Accepted 30 March 2016

Academic Editor: Gloria Brusotti

Copyright © 2016 Xin Mao 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.


The plants of the genus Phyllanthus (Euphorbiaceae) have been used as traditional medicinal materials for a long time in China, India, Brazil, and the Southeast Asian countries. They can be used for the treatment of digestive disease, jaundice, and renal calculus. This review discusses the ethnopharmacological, phytochemical, and pharmacological studies of Phyllanthus over the past few decades. More than 510 compounds have been isolated, the majority of which are lignins, triterpenoids, flavonoids, and tannins. The researches of their remarkable antiviral, antioxidant, antidiabetic, and anticancer activities have become hot topics. More pharmacological screenings and phytochemical investigations are required to support the traditional uses and develop leading compounds.