Planta Med 2010; 76(10): 943-949
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1249776
Mini Review
Mini Reviews
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Hovenia dulcis – An Asian Traditional Herb

Tae Kyung Hyun1 , Seung Hee Eom1 , Chang Yeon Yu2 , Thomas Roitsch1
  • 1Institute for Plant Sciences, Karl Franzens-University of Graz, Austria
  • 2Bioherb Research Institute, Kangwon National University, Chunchon, Korea
Further Information

Publication History

received June 6, 2009 revised March 2, 2010

accepted March 5, 2010

Publication Date:
08 April 2010 (online)


Hovenia dulcis Thunb., known as Japanese raisin tree, is commonly found in East Asia. It has a long history as a food supplement and traditional medicine in Japan, China and Korea, but is little known and used in Western countries so far. This minireview summarizes traditional uses and current knowledge on the pharmacology and phytochemistry of H. duclcis and covers, in particular, literature from specialized Asian journals that are not readily accessible. Extracts from H. dulcis accelerate detoxification of ethanol, and possess hepatoprotective, antioxidative, antimicrobial and antidiabetic properties. Although the underlying molecular mechanisms are not fully understood, free radical scavenging and enhancement of ethanol catabolism have been reported.


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Prof. Dr. Thomas Roitsch

Institut für Pflanzenwissenschaften

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8010 Graz


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