A comprehensive review on phytochemical and pharmacological aspects of Elaeagnus angustifolia L.
Objective: Elaeagnus angustifolia L., commonly known as oleaster or Russian olive, is used worldwide as a traditional natural remedy or nutritional agent for the management of a wide range of illnesses. The aim of the present study is to comprehensively review the ethnopharmacological uses, biological activities and phytochemistry of E. angustifolia. Key findings: Modern scientific investigations suggest that the plant possesses a broad spectrum of pharmacological and therapeutic effects, including antimicrobial, insecticidal, antioxidant, anti-arthritic, wound healing, cardioprotective, hypolipidemic, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antitumour and gastroprotective activity. Various phytochemical constituents, including β-carboline alkaloids, polysaccharides, esters, flavone glycosides, phenols, phenolic acids, ketones, phenyl ethers, pyrimidines, steroids and terpenes, as well as nutritional components such as essential and non-essential amino acids and nutraceuticals like vitamins and fatty acids, have been identified in E. angustifolia. Summary: Considering its wide variety of pharmacological activity as well as its huge diversity of active phytochemicals, E. angustifolia could be proposed as a good candidate for discovering new drugs. Further clinical and experimental studies are necessary to reveal the beneficial therapeutic, safety and pharmaceutical properties of E. angustifolia and its phytochemicals as a complementary and alternative medicine for the management of various disorders.