Polygala glomerata Lour. (Polygala chinensis L., Polygala densiflora Blume, Polygala glomerata Lour. var. pygmaea C.Y. Wu & S.K. Chen, Polygala glomerata Lour. var. villosa C.Y. Wu & S.K. Chen, Polygala subopposita S.K. Chen), or hua nan yuan zhi (Chinese), is an annual herb that grows to a height of 25 cm in grasslands, shrub forests, and on slopes of hills in China, Taiwan, India, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaya, New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The leaves are obovate, elliptic, or lanceolate. The flowers are 4.5 mm long, yellowish, or white with pink. The fruits are globose, 2 mm in diameter, narrowly winged capsules.
In Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, the roots are used to cure inflamed throat, reduce fever, and remove blood from urine. In Indonesia, a tea of the leaves is drunk to treat asthma and cough. The plant is known to elaborate a series of polygalasaponins including polygalasaponins XLII-XLVI, hence mucolytic properties (26,27). The plant elaborates a series of oligosaccharide polyesters, the effects of which would be worth assessment because oligosaccharides, especially from the Caryophyllidae, displayed very encouraging pharmacological potentials as antiviral and immunomodulatory agents.
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