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Laranjeira, I.M.; Dias, A.C.P.; Pinto-Ribeiro, F.L. Genista tridentata Phytochemical Characterization. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 14 June 2024).
Laranjeira IM, Dias ACP, Pinto-Ribeiro FL. Genista tridentata Phytochemical Characterization. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 14, 2024.
Laranjeira, Inês Martins, Alberto Carlos Pires Dias, Filipa Lacerda Pinto-Ribeiro. "Genista tridentata Phytochemical Characterization" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 14, 2024).
Laranjeira, I.M., Dias, A.C.P., & Pinto-Ribeiro, F.L. (2023, November 07). Genista tridentata Phytochemical Characterization. In Encyclopedia.
Laranjeira, Inês Martins, et al. "Genista tridentata Phytochemical Characterization." Encyclopedia. Web. 07 November, 2023.
Genista tridentata Phytochemical Characterization

Genista tridentata (L.) Willk., known as “prickled broom”, is a Leguminosae (Fabaceae) species native to the Iberian Peninsula, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. It is used in folk medicine as an anti-inflammatory, for gastrointestinal and respiratory disorders, rheumatism, and headaches, to lower blood pressure, against hypercholesterolemia and hyperglycemia. 

traditional medicine biological properties Genista tridentata Pterospartum tridentatum nutraceuticals

1. Introduction

Wild edible plants are an important piece of the cultural and genetic heritage of distinct world regions, representing high importance, predominantly in rural and suburban areas [1]. Furthermore, they are interesting sources of bioactive compounds and need recognition as considerable contributors to human health promotion and disease prevention [2].
Genista tridentata (L.) Willk. (the recognized name for this species), also known as Pterospartum tridentatum (L.) Willk. (the commonly used name in both scientific literature and commercially available extracts. Among other synonyms, Chamaespartum tridentatum (P.) Gibbs is also used [3][4]). Commonly known as “prickled broom”, it is a Leguminosae (Fabaceae) species belonging to the subfamily Papilionoideae [5][6]. In line with scientific literature and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility database [7], the recorded countries of origin for the plant remain consistent, comprising Portugal, Spain, and Morocco. However, it is important to mention that the Plants of the World Online (POWO) database [8] also lists Algeria and Tunisia as potential countries of origin for this plant. This shrub can be found in the understory of Arbutus unedo, Pinus, and Eucalyptus forests, as well as in abandoned lands. It grows spontaneously up to 100 cm in acidic soils [9] and presents yellow flowers with a typical odor in alternate branches and coriaceous winged stems [10]. Traditionally, it is harvested in the spring between March and June.
G. tridentata is an aromatic plant that is very important in Portuguese gastronomy. The leaves are conventionally used as a condiment/spice for the seasoning of traditional rice and meat dishes [11]. Moreover, fresh or shade-dried flowers of G. tridentata are also used in folk medicine, in infusions, decoctions, and tonics [12] as anti-inflammatory [13][14][15], diuretic and depurative of the liver [5][11][16][17]. It is commonly used to ameliorate colds [5][18], in digestive disorders [5][18][19][20], intestinal [21][22] and urologic problems [5][11][15][16][18], and rheumatism [5][11][16]. Additionally, it is also used for respiratory disorders [5][6][13][15][18][23], headaches [5], to lower blood pressure [5][6][18], against hypercholesterolemia [5][6][18][20][22] and hyperglycemia [5][6][11][16][17][18][23][24], and in weight loss programs [5].

2. Phytochemical Characterization

The main compounds found are flavonoids, as well as hydroxycinnamic acids and hydroxybenzoic acids (Table 1, Figure 1). Additionally, extracts collected in the flowering period (May), as well as flowers, presented a more diverse phytochemical profile than extracts collected during the rest of the year.
Figure 1. Classification of phytochemical compounds identified in Genista tridentata. Each distinct category is associated with a unique color.
Table 1. Major biologically active compounds were found in several samples of G. tridentata (X—detected; NA—not available; ND—not detected).
Other compounds found in the literature include essential oils (EOs) (Table 2). Grosso et al. (2007) [11] studied the EOs isolated by hydrodistillation and distillation-extraction of flowers, stems and leaves, and aerial parts of different populations. Another study [29] also characterized EOs of G. tridentata using the same methodology. The results show that G. tridentata samples presented a yellowish oil with a yield of <0.05% (v/w). The dominant components of the oils were phenylpropanoids, more abundant in aerial parts, and oxygen-containing monoterpenes in the flowers, stems, and leaves. Additionally, Faria et al. (2013, 2016) [30][31] reported cis-theaspirane and trans-theaspirane as the main components.
Table 2. Composition (%) of the essential oils of G. tridentata isolated by hydrodistillation, collected in different years and locations. (AMF02: Flowers, collected in Arneiro das Milhariças in 2002; AMF03: collected in Arneiro das Milhariças in 2003; AML02: collected in Arneiro das Milhariças in 2002; AML03: collected in Arneiro das Milhariças in 2003; PAPN: collected in Pedra de Altar, Proença a nova; PSFPN: collected in Póvoa, Sobreira Formosa, Proença a nova; SCB: collected in Sarzeda, Castelo Branco; MCSB: collected in Milhasa do Corvo, Sarzeda, Castelo Branco; ND—not detected).


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