The family Dilleniaceae consists of 10-14 genera and about 500 species distributed into four subfamilies. It is taxonomically isolated and it is the sole representative of Dilleniales. Some of its species play an important role in traditional medicine and they have been used for the treatment of various diseases and infections, such as arthritis, diabetes, dysentery, hepatitis, blennorrhagia, and to treat gastrointestinal disorders, inflammation, hemorrhoids, wounds, and leishmanial ulcers. Pharmacological studies have confirmed that extracts from these species as well as some of their isolated compounds possess a wide range of biological activities, including anti-hemorrhagic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antitumoral, anti-ulcer, immunological, and cancer chemoprevention, with flavonoids and terpenoids as the major active principles. To date, more than 130 compounds, distributed in different structural classes (flavonoids, terpenoids, lignoids, phenolic derivatives, and other compounds) have been reported from this family. This paper briefly reviews for the first time the ethnopharmacological uses, phytochemical profile and biological activities of some isolated compounds and extracts from Dilleniaceae species.
Cinthia C. Lima, Rosangela P. L. Lemos, Lucia M. Conserva. Dilleniaceae family: an overview of its ethnomedicinal uses, biological and phytochemical profile. J Pharmacogn Phytochem 2014;3(2):181-204.