Chunjie Wu, Juan Zhou, Wei Peng, Lei Zhu, Tao Li, Jiaolong Wang, Weidong Jiang, Mengmeng Zhang
Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim. (Rutaceae) is a popular food additive and traditional Chinese herbal medicine commonly named HuaJiao in China. This plant is widely distributed in Asian countries. The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic review on the traditional usages, botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and toxicology of this plant. Furthermore, the possible development and perspectives for future research on this plant are also discussed. To date, over 140 compounds have been isolated and identified from Z. bungeanum, including alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids, and free fatty acids. The extracts and compounds have been shown to possess wide-ranging biological activity, such as anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, antioxidant and anti-tumor effects, antibacterial and antifungal effects, as well as regulatory effects on the gastrointestinal system and nervous system, and other effects. As a traditional herbal medicine, Z. bungeanum has been widely used to treat many diseases, especially digestive disorders, toothache, stomach ache, and diarrhea. Many traditional usages of this plant have been validated by present investigations. However, further research elucidating the structure-function relationship among chemical compounds, understanding the mechanism of unique sensation, as well as exploring new clinical effects and establishing criteria for quality control for Z. bungeanum should be further studied.