CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Planta Med 2021; 87(14): 1206-1218
DOI: 10.1055/a-1578-8778
Biological and Pharmacological Activity
Original Papers

Treating Chronic Wounds Using Photoactive Metabolites: Data Mining the Chinese Pharmacopoeia for Potential Lead Species[ # ]

Francesca Scotti
1   Research Group “Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy”, UCL School of Pharmacy, London, UK
Linru Mou
1   Research Group “Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy”, UCL School of Pharmacy, London, UK
Chen Huang
1   Research Group “Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy”, UCL School of Pharmacy, London, UK
Anthony Booker
1   Research Group “Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy”, UCL School of Pharmacy, London, UK
2   Research Centre for Optimal Health, School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Westminster. London, UK
Caroline Weckerle
3   Institute of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
Caroline Maake
4   Institute of Anatomy, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
1   Research Group “Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy”, UCL School of Pharmacy, London, UK
› Author Affiliations
Supported by: Velux Stiftung 1284


Efficient wound treatment that addresses associated infections and inflammation remains one of the big unmet needs, especially in low- and middle-income countries. One strategy for securing better healthcare can be using medicinal plants if sufficient evidence on their safety and therapeutic benefits can be ascertained. A unique novel opportunity could be photo-enhanced wound treatment with a combination of light-sensitive plant preparations and local exposure to daylight. Data mining strategies using existing resources offer an excellent basis for developing such an approach with many potential plant candidates. In the present analysis, we researched the 535 botanical drugs included in the Chinese pharmacopeia and identified 183 medicinal plant species, 82 for treating open wounds caused by trauma and 101 for inflammatory skin conditions. After further screening for reports on the presence of known photoactive compounds, we determined a core group of 10 scientifically lesser-known botanical species that may potentially be developed into more widely used topical preparations for photodynamic treatment of infected wounds. Our predictive approach may contribute to developing a more evidence-based use of herbal medicines.

# Dedicated to Prof. Dr. Otto Sticher on the occasion of his 85th birthday.

Supporting Information

Publication History

Received: 15 May 2021

Accepted after revision: 02 August 2021

Article published online:
15 September 2021

© 2021. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commecial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

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