Twinflower (Linnaea borealis L.) – plant species of potential medicinal properties

BARBARA THIEM, ELISABETH BUK-BERGE

Abstract

Twinflower (Linnaea borealis L.) is a widespread circumboreal plant species belonging to Linnaeaceae family (previously Caprifoliaceae). L. borealis commonly grows in taiga and tundra. In some countries in Europe, including Poland, twinflower is protected as a glacial relict. Chemical composition of this species is not well known, however in folk medicine of Scandinavian countries, L. borealis has a long tradition as a cure for skin diseases and rheumatism. It is suggested that twinflower has potential medicinal properties. The new study on lead secondary metabolites responsible for biological activity are necessary. This short review summarizes very sparse knowledge on twinflower: its biology, distribution, conservation status, chemical constituents, and describes the role of this plant in folk tradition of Scandinavian countries.
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