Phytopharmacology and medicinal properties of Salix aegyptiaca L.
Salix aegyptiaca L. is known as Musk Willow. S. aegyptiaca extracts and essential oils are important areas in drug development with some pharmacological activities in the Middle East, especially in Iran. For a long time S. aegyptiaca has been used in traditional medicines for the relief of anemia and vertigo, as a cardiotonic agent, as well as a fragrance additive in the preparation of local candies. S. aegyptiaca has recently been shown to have antioxidant, anxiolytic activity and hypocholestrolemic effect. High amounts of phenols and flavonoids such as gallic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, catechin, quercetin as well as salicin, are reported from the leaves of this plant. 1,4-dimethoxybenzene, phenylethyl alcohol, carvone, citronellol, methyleugenol, eugenol, n-tetradecane and 4-methoxyacetophenone were identified as the major constituents of the essential oil in leaves of S. aegyptiaca. Due to the easy collection of the plant, being widespread and also its remarkable biological activities, this plant has become both food and medicine in Iran. This review presents comprehensive analyzed information on the botanical, chemical and pharmacological aspects of S. aegyptiaca.
Key words: Salix aegyptiaca, Salicaceae, Musk Willow, essential oil.