PLANTS OF THE COMPOSITAE FAMILY AS PHOTOSENSITIZERS AND PHOTOPROTECTORS
Irina V Bolshakova, Elena L Lozovskaya, Igor I Sapezhinsky
Institute of Biochemical Physics RAS, 4 Kosygin Street, Moscow, 117977, Russia
We studied three plants of a Compositae family, namely Chamomilla recutita, Calendula officinalis and Achillea millefolium as potential photosensitizers and photoprotectors.
All the plants studied are widely used in medicine. Their extracts show antiseptic, spasmolytic, antiallergic and wound-healing action. The effects are due to azulene, flavonoids and other components. Achillea millifolium has hemostatic effect due to sesquiterpenoid achilline.
At the same time these plants can cause photoallergic reactions, particularly photodermatitis [1-4]. The active compounds responsible for photoallergic reactions are presumably sesquiterpene lactones. It is known that Chamomilla r. and Achillea millefolium contain sesquiterpenoids, and Calendula contains saponine compounds.