Opportunities for the use of fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium L.): a review of researches

  • Marius Lasinskas
  • Elvyra Jarienė
Keywords: fireweed, poliphenols, oenothein B, antioxidant


The plant fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium L.) is widely used for the treatment of various disorders and illnesses in all the world (Vitalone et al., 2001; Vitalone et al., 2003a; Vitalone et al., 2003b). Experimental studies show that Chamerion angustifolium L. extracts have many pharmacological and treatment effects: antioxidant, antiproliferative, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-aging. Fireweed is rich in polyphenolic compounds. Oenothein B is the main polyphenol in fireweed (14–23%), while it has flavonoids less than 2%. Fireweed also has essential oils (mostly linoleinic acid, 1-docosene, hexadecanoic acid, linolenic acid) and acts as an antibacterial agent. Fireweed accumulates a lot of phenols and can be used as a natural antioxidative source. Oenothein B is the most contributing factor of the antioxidative fireweed effect. After studying of scientific works about fireweed, we can affirm that there are not enough comprehensive studies, which will answer very relevant questions: how active substances are distributed in the fireweed plant, how the quantity and quality of active substances depend on growing factors during changes of climate, raw material collection methods, etc. It is necessary to do more research works, associated with an analysis of fireweed cultivation conditions.