The genus psychotria: Phytochemistry, chemotaxonomy, ethnopharmacology and biological properties
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Psychotria genus (Rubiaceae) is featured into the angiosperm, being the most speciose genus comprising approximately 1600 species. The available references demonstrate that Psychotria has several uses on traditional medicine including spiritual and cultural purposes, and presents great potential on pharmacological properties, especially the one related to neurodegenerative diseases. Despite its wide biological properties, this genus has shown complex phylogenetic analysis due to lack of chemotaxonomic information. In recent years, the interest in these plants has increased considerably and many active compounds have been isolated. Phytochemical investigations described in the literature confirmed the indole alkaloids as the major compounds and besides that, another particular chemical constituent are cyclic peptides, known as cyclotides. This present review will cover the relevant literature from 1962 until 2015, and outlines the current data on taxonomy, chemotaxonomy, traditional uses, pharmacological properties, chemical composition and ecological approach from Psychotria genus.
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