Photoactive Herbal Compounds: A Green Approach to Photodynamic Therapy

Cheruthazhakkat Sulaiman, Blassan P. George, Indira Balachandran, Heidi Abrahamse

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a minimally invasive, alternative, and promising treatment for various diseases, including cancer, actinic keratosis, Bowen’s disease, macular degeneration, and atherosclerotic plaques. PDT involves three different components, photosensitizers (PS), molecular oxygen, and light. The photoactivation of administered PSs using a specific wavelength of light in the presence of molecular oxygen leads to the generation of reactive oxygen species that leads to tumour cell death. Photosensitizing potentials of many commercially available compounds have been reported earlier. However, the possibilities of PDT using herbal medicines, which contain many photosensitizing phytochemicals, are not much explored. Medicinal plants with complex phytochemical compound mixtures have the benefit over single compounds or molecules in the treatment of many diseases with the benefit of low or reduced toxic side effects. This review emphasizes the role of various herbal medicines either alone or in combination to enhance the therapeutic outcome of photodynamic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5084
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • herbal medicine
  • natural products
  • photodynamic therapy
  • photosensitizers
  • phytochemicals
  • plants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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