About this Research Topic
The Asteraceae (Compositae) is also known as the daisy family, sunflower family or thistle family and is it is one of the largest families of plants, with 32,913 accepted species names, in 1,911 genera and 13 subfamilies. The importance of the Asteraceae for medicinal and food purposes has been described for centuries. Also, due to the availability of massive numbers of species in this family, they are important in traditional medicine throughout the world. Despite the discovery of a large number of compounds in Asteraceae around the world, it has attracted disproportionately little attention in the context of ethnopharmacological research, and little systematic exploration and development has happened. The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for the discovery of artemisinin and avermectin, which fundamentally changed the treatment of parasitic diseases around the globe. Both compounds are natural products, once again showing that nature can be a powerful source of medicines. A breakthrough for the development of antimalarial drugs was the identification of the sesquiterpene artemisinin from Artemisia annua L.(Asteraceae), which can kill even multidrug-resistant strains of P. falciparum. Several semisynthetic derivatives of artemisinin (e.g., the water-soluble artesunate) have been developed, which are in clinical practice today.
Within this scientific framework, the focus of this Research Topic will be on the ethnopharmacology of the family including their phytochemistry (as it relates to medical uses) & molecular pharmacology of natural products. Especially encouraged are submissions focusing on ethnopharmacological articles of Asteraceae exploring their potential for developing a more evidence – based use of such species including MSs focusing on activity guided chromatographic isolation of novel active compounds from members of the family using validated bioassays or in vivo animal experiments. Chemotaxonomic studies that shed light on evolution of Asteraceae from related families will be welcome too if they contribute to an understanding of the family’s ethnopharmacology, . Studies that deal with isolation, identification and chemical synthesis of secondary metabolites from Asteraceae will only be of interest if they are linked to adequate pharmacological activities.
This Research Topic welcomes different kind of articles such as Systematic Review, Mini Review, Case Report, Clinical Trial, Data Report and Original Research.
The following basic guidelines, focused on best practice in ethnopharmacology, should be followed by all submissions:`
- Positive and negative controls must be included.
- Models must be pharmacologically relevant and plausible. Authors must consider the ethical acceptability of further in vivo studies on an already well-studied species, demonstrating some pharmacological activity (e.g. an anti-inflammatory effect studied in the rat-paw oedema)
-Composition of the study material - The composition of the study material must be described adequate-ly. Manuscripts relating to crude plant extracts, where an individual active agent or a detailed phytochemical characteriza-tion of all extracts is not clearly identified and quantified are not acceptable.
-Composition of the study material - Where ‘pure’ compounds are used the level of purity must be reported.
- Dose ranges must be pharmacologically relevant. While impossible to define an exact cut-off, studies testing extracts at implausibly high doses are not acceptable.
-Antioxidant activity - Simple in silico and pharmacologically irrelevant assays for antioxidant activity (e.g. the DPPH as-say, FRAP (Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma), ABTS (2,2'-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)) are not acceptable as a main tool for assessing an extract or a compound for activity. In case of AD, there is no evidence that, for example, in silico studies, provide any evidence relevant for the condition.
- The identification of the study material needs to be defined well. All species must be fully validated using www.theplantlist.org or http://mpns.kew.org/mpns-portal/.
Keywords: Asteraceae, Ethnomedicine, Drug discovery, Antiparasitic, Antimicrobial, Anticancer
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.