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4. Occurrence of pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are products of the secondary metabolism and mainly occur in representatives of the families Fabaceae, Boraginaceae and Asteraceae. In these families their existence is predominantly restricted to several subtribes and genera as seen from the Table. Only those genera are listed in the species of which pyrrolizidine alkaloids have been detected and which play or have played a certain role as medicinal plants.

In Europe the representatives of Fabaceae are insignificant because they do not occur there. Thus, only medicinal plants belonging to the families Boraginaceae and Asteraceae are important.

Table 1: Occurrence of PAs in different families

Family Subtribe Genus
Fabaceae (Leguminosae) Crotalariaceae Crotalaria
Chromolaena
Lotononis
Boraginaceae With the exception of Pulmonaria officinalis [65, 66] PAs have been detected in all studied genera and species
Asteraceae (Compositae) Eupatorieae Ageratum
Eupatorium
Senecioneae Adenostyles
Brachyglottis
Cacalia
Chersodoma
Cineraria
Crassocephalum
Doronicum
Emilia
Erechtites
Farfugium
Gynura
Homogyne
Jacmaia
Kleinia
Ligularia
Nardosmia
Notonia
Odontocline
Packera
Petasites
Senecio
Syneilesis
Tussilago
Werneria

Medicinal plants in Europe containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids was written by Prof. Dr. E. Röder and published in the journal "Pharmazie" 50 (1995), pages 83-98.



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