Naturally occurring chalcones and their biological activities

Zsuzsanna Rozmer, P. Perjési

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: The aim of this review is to summarize the various naturally occurring chalcone compounds which have been isolated from different plants. Chalcones considered as obligate intermediated in flavonoid biosynthesis but they do not accumulate to appreciable degree in most plants. The largest number of natural chalcones has been isolated from species of the Leguminosae, Asteraceae and Moraceae families. Chalcone accumulating plants have often been used in traditional medicine and chalcones have therefore been studied and reported to possess many beneficial biological effects including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidant, cytotoxic, antitumor and chemopreventive activities. Previously published reviews on this topic survey the biological activities of natural and synthetic chalcones but there are no comprehensive contributions on occurrence and biological activities of natural chalcones. The present study provides an overview of hydroxy or/and methoxy-substituted chalcones, methylated, prenylated, geranylated and other monomeric derivatives, chromeno- and furanochalcones, dimeric chalcones and dihydrochalcone derivatives focusing on their biosynthesis, natural sources and biological activities. On the basis of 608 references, this review covers the phytochemistry and biological activity of natural chalcones, describing 646 compounds have been appeared in the literature since 1975. The summary is aimed to initiate further pharmacobotanical, biotechnological and medicinal studies on the field of chalcone research. Graphical Abstract: This contribution reviews some of the general aspects of naturally occurring chalcones including their chemical categories, focusing on plant sources and biological activities. The review covers the major works appeared in the literature from 1975 up to 2014, relating to 608 references and 646 compounds. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-120
Number of pages34
JournalPhytochemistry Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Biological activity
  • Chalcones
  • Dihydrochalcones
  • Flavonoids
  • Natural occurence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Biotechnology

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