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V.G. Luzhanin Ph.D. (Biol.), Associate Professor, Saint Petersburg State Chemical Pharmaceutical University (Saint Petersburg) E-mail: A.O. Ponkratova Post-graduate Student, Saint Petersburg State Chemical Pharmaceutical University (Saint Petersburg) E-mail: A.K. Whaley Post-graduate Student, Saint Petersburg State Chemical Pharmaceutical University (Saint Petersburg) E.A. Grishukova Student, Pharmaceutical Faculty, Saint Petersburg State Chemical Pharmaceutical University (Saint Petersburg) E-mail: G.P. Yakovlev Dr.Sc. (Biol.), Professor, Saint Petersburg State Chemical Pharmaceutical University (Saint Petersburg)

Field restharrow (Ononis arvensis L.) is a perennial herb from the legume family, represented in Russia by two subspecies: O. arvensis subsp. arvensis and O. arvensis subsp. spinescens. The geographic area in which the plant can be found covers most of the European territory of Russia, Ukraine, Bela-rus, Moldova, the Caucasus and Transcaucasia, as well as the Baltic States, where it reaches the shores of the Gulf of Finland. This review includes the plants botanical description, secondary metabolite composition, as well as the description of the biological and pharmacological activity of O. arvensis. Polyphenolic compounds can be distinguished as the main secondary metabolites of O. arvensis, among which the representative groups are isofla-vones (formononetin, pseudobaptigenin, calicoside, their glycosides and derivatives), dihydroisoflavonoids (sativanone and onogenin, their glycosides and derivatives), pterocarpans (medicarpine and maakiain, their glycosides and derivatives), phenol carboxylic acid (caffeic, chlorogenic, ferulic, etc.). Among other polyphenolic compounds, flavonols, flavones, flavan-3-ols, dihydrochalcones, hydrolyzable tannins, stilbenoids and flavanones have also been found in field restharrow. In folk medicine, Ononis arvensis has found application in the treatment of hemorrhoids, articular rheumatism, diseases of the liver, bladder and kidneys, skin diseases (dermatoses, eczema), as well as a diaphoretic, hemostatic and diuretic agent. There is reliable data on the choleretic, analgesic and antihypoxic effects of O. arvensis aqueous-alcoholic extracts, as well as their effect on the motor function of the gas-trointestinal tract. Extracts from the perennial part of fieldrestharrow showed antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Candida albicans, Staphylococ-cus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella typhimurium. Thus, a wide variety of biologically active substances, causing a multidirectional pharmacological effect in this plant, makes O. arvensis a promising plant from which individual compounds can be isolated - that in the future could become potential pharmaceutical substances.

secondary metabolites
biological activity

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