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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2018, Article ID 9070927, 17 pages
Review Article

Bougainvillea Genus: A Review on Phytochemistry, Pharmacology, and Toxicology

Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos (UAEM), Calle Leñeros, Esquina Iztaccíhuatl s/n. Col. Volcanes, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México, C.P. 62350, Mexico

Correspondence should be addressed to Vera L. Petricevich; xm.meau@hcivecirtep.arev

Received 20 February 2018; Revised 17 April 2018; Accepted 21 May 2018; Published 24 June 2018

Academic Editor: Wen-yi Kang

Copyright © 2018 Rodolfo Abarca-Vargas and Vera L. Petricevich. 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.


This review discusses the current knowledge of the phytochemistry and in vitro and in vivo evaluations carried out using the extracts and, where appropriate, the main active components isolated from the genus Bougainvillea. Out of 18 species, most phytochemical, pharmacological, and toxicological studies focused on four species with different cultivars and one hybrid. Some plants are used for the treatment of various health disorders. Numerous phytochemical investigations of plants in this genus confirm the presence of aliphatic hydrocarbons, fatty acids, fatty alcohols, volatile compounds, phenolic compounds, peltogynoids, flavonoids, phytosterols, terpenes, carbohydrates, and betalains. Various studies have confirmed that these extracts or active substances that were isolated from the genus Bougainvillea have multiple pharmacological activities. Some species of Bougainvillea have emerged as sources of traditional medicine in human health. More studies of the phytochemical, pharmacological, and toxicological properties and their mechanisms of action, safety, and efficacy in all Bougainvillea species, cultivars, and hybrids are advisable for future research.