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      Gastrodia elata BI.:A Comprehensive Review of Its Traditional Use, Botany, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology, and Pharmacokinetics


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          Materials and Methods

          This article collects information from relevant documents, including scientific papers, books, and dissertations concerning Gastrodia elata BI.


          To date, research on Gastrodia elata BI. has identified about 100 active compounds. Many compounds in Gastrodia elata BI. have biological activities, such as sedation and hypnosis, anticonvulsion, improvement of learning and memory, protection of neurons, antidepressive effects, lowering of blood pressure, promotion of angiogenesis, protection of cardiomyocytes, antiplatelet aggregation, anti-inflammatory activity, and amelioration of labor pains.


          Although many traditional uses of this plant have been confirmed, it is necessary to continue to study the relationship between its structure and function, clarify the mechanisms of pharmacological effects, and explore new clinical applications so as to better delineate the quality control standards for Gastrodia elata BI.

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          Most cited references122

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          Discovery of Highly Potent Tyrosinase Inhibitor, T1, with Significant Anti-Melanogenesis Ability by zebrafish in vivo Assay and Computational Molecular Modeling

          Tyrosinase is involved in melanin biosynthesis and the abnormal accumulation of melanin pigments leading to hyperpigmentation disorders that can be treated with depigmenting agents. A natural product T1, bis(4-hydroxybenzyl)sulfide, isolated from the Chinese herbal plant, Gastrodia elata, is a strong competitive inhibitor against mushroom tyrosinase (IC50 = 0.53 μM, Ki = 58 ± 6 nM), outperforms than kojic acid. The cell viability and melanin quantification assay demonstrate that 50 μM of T1 apparently attenuates 20% melanin content of human normal melanocytes without significant cell toxicity. Moreover, the zebrafish in vivo assay reveals that T1 effectively reduces melanogenesis with no adverse side effects. The acute oral toxicity study evidently confirms that T1 molecule is free of discernable cytotoxicity in mice. Furthermore, the molecular modeling demonstrates that the sulfur atom of T1 coordinating with the copper ions in the active site of tyrosinase is essential for mushroom tyrosinase inhibition and the ability of diminishing the human melanin synthesis. These results evident that T1 isolated from Gastrodia elata is a promising candidate in developing pharmacological and cosmetic agents of great potency in skin-whitening.
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            Pharmacokinetics of gastrodin and its metabolite p-hydroxybenzyl alcohol in rat blood, brain and bile by microdialysis coupled to LC-MS/MS.

            Gastrodin is a pharmacologically active substance isolated from Gastrodia elata Blume with sedation, anti-convulsion and anti-epilepsy activities. A rapid and sensitive liquid chromatography technique coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) system was developed to determine gastrodin and its metabolite p-hydroxybenzyl alcohol (HBA) in rat blood, brain and bile collected using microdialysis technique. The analytes were separated using a reversed phase column (4.6 mm x 150 mm, 5 microm). The mobile phase for column separation was 30% methanol with a flow rate of 0.6 mL/min. As a post-column addition, 1% ammonium hydroxide solution (in methanol) was additionally pumped via a T-connection using a chromatographic pump (BAS PM-80, USA) at a flow rate of 0.2 mL/min after the column separation. A LC-MS/MS system equipped with a negative electrospray ionization (ESI) source in multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode was used to monitor m/z 285.0-->122.9 and m/z 123.0-->105.0 transitions for gastrodin and HBA, respectively. The lower limit of quantification (LLoQ) for gastrodin and HBA were 0.5 and 2 ng/mL, respectively. The calibration curves were linear over the range of 0.5-5,000 ng/mL and 2-1,000 ng/mL for gastrodin and HBA with a coefficient of determination >0.995, respectively. This selective and sensitive method is useful for the determination of gastrodin and HBA and in the pharmacokinetic studies of these compounds.
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              Anti-asthmatic activity of phenolic compounds from the roots of Gastrodia elata Bl.

              We previously reported that 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde has the most potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of eight phenolic compounds obtained from the dried roots of Gastrodiaelata (GE) Blume (Orchidaceae); its activity may be related to inhibition of cyclooxygenase activities and oxidation. In the present study, the effects of nine phenolic compounds from GE on immediate-phase (IAR) and late-phase (LAR) asthmatic responses after aerosolized-ovalbumin (OA) challenge were evaluated by determining the specific airway resistance (sRaw) using a double-chambered plethysmograph in conscious guinea pigs with IgE-mediated asthma. Furthermore, recruitment of leukocytes, histamine release, and eosinophil peroxidase (EPO) and phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) activities were determined in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BALF) 24h after the antigen challenge. 4-Hydroxy-3-methoxybenzyl alcohol (12.5mg/kg) significantly (p<0.05) inhibited sRaw in IAR and in LAR by 51.97+/-4.96% and 39.93+/-3.46%, respectively, compared to that of the controls. Further, hydroxy-3-methoxybenzyl alcohol significantly (p<0.05) inhibited recruitment of leukocytes in accordance with amelioration of eosinophilia and neutrophilia, histamine (30.66+/-5.20%), EPO activity (21.58+/-2.02%), and specific PLA(2) activity (16.60+/-2.52%) in BALF compared with the control. In addition, bis-(4-hydroxyphenyl) methane, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzoic acid, and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde (12.5mg/kg) significantly (p<0.05) inhibited sRaw, while bis-(4-hydroxyphenyl) methane, benzyl alcohol, and 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde at 12.5mg/kg significantly (p<0.05) inhibited leukocytes, histamine, EPO and PLA(2) activities in BALF compared with the controls. The phenolic glycoside, parishin had less activity compared to aglycones, 4-hydroxybenzyl compounds. These results suggest that the C(4) hydroxy and C(3) methoxy radicals in benzyl alcohols and aldehydes play important roles in mediating the anti-asthmatic activities of these compounds. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
                Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
                Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM
                18 April 2023
                18 April 2023
                : 2023
                : 5606021
                1Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xianyang 712046, China
                2Engineering Technology Research Center of Shaanxi Administration of Chinese Herbal Pieces, Xianyang 712046, China
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Li Hua

                Author information
                Copyright © 2023 Ya-Nan Wu 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.

                : 8 June 2022
                : 21 July 2022
                : 21 February 2023
                Funded by: Shaanxi Provincial Central Government Guided Local Science and Technology Development Project
                Award ID: 2021-ZY2-CG-03
                Funded by: Shaanxi Provincial Innovative Talent Promotion Plan-Science and Technology Innovation Team
                Award ID: 2018TD-005
                Review Article

                Complementary & Alternative medicine
                Complementary & Alternative medicine


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