The genusEremophila(Scrophulariaceae): an ethnobotanical, biological and phytochemical review

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Eremophila (Scrophulariaceae) is an endemic Australian genus with 214 species, which is commonly known as Fuchsia bush, Emu bush or Poverty bush. Plants of this genus played an important role for the Australian Aborigines who used them widely for medicinal and ceremonial purposes. Many studies have been carried out on many species of this genus and have generated immense data about the chemical composition and corresponding biological activity of extracts and isolated secondary metabolites.

Key findings

Thorough phytochemical investigations of different Eremophila species have resulted in the isolation of more than 200 secondary metabolites of different classes with diterpenes as major constituents. Biological studies and traditional clinical practice demonstrated that Eremophila and its bioactive compounds possess various pharmacological properties. Plants were employed especially as a cardiotonic drug and also as potent anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antiviral agents.


Further investigations are required to explore other Eremophila species, to evaluate the different biological activities of either their extracts or the isolated compounds and the possible underlying modes of action.

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