A review on the biological activity of camellia species

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40 Citations (Scopus)


Medicinal plants have been used since antiquity to cure illnesses and injuries. In the last few decades, natural compounds extracted from plants have garnered the attention of scientists and the Camellia species are no exception. Several species and cultivars are widespread in Asia, namely in China, Japan, Vietnam and India, being also identified in western countries like Portugal. Tea and oil are the most valuable and appreciated Camellia subproducts extracted from Camellia sinensis and Camellia oleifera, respectively. The economic impact of these species has boosted the search for additional information about the Camellia genus. Many studies can be found in the literature reporting the health benefits of several Camellia species, namely C. sinensis, C. oleifera and Camellia japonica. These species have been highlighted as possessing antimicrobial (antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral) and antitumoral activity and as being a huge source of polyphenols such as the catechins. Particularly, epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG), and specially epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the major polyphenols of green tea. This paper presents a detailed review of Camellia species' antioxidant properties and biological activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2178
Number of pages25
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2021


  • ABTS
  • Antifungal
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antitumor
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenolics


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