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BACKGROUND: Radix Gentianae Macrophyllae, commonly known as Qinjiao (in Chinese), is dried roots of medicinal plants that belong to Gentianaceae family and Gentiana genus. It has medically been used for the treatment of various diseases such as arthritis, stroke, facial paralysis, and scapulohumeral periarthritis in China since ancient times.PURPOSE: The aim of this paper is to provide a comprehensive and constructive overview of Qinjiao mainly containing Gentiana macrophylla Pall., Gentiana straminea Maxim., Gentiana crasicaulis Duthie ex Burk., and Gentiana daurica Fisch. in botany, traditional use, phytochemicals, pharmacology (biological activities and pharmacokinetics), quality control, and authentication according to the up-to-date data of available scientific literatures. MATERIALS AND METHODS: All information regarding these four plants was collected from various academic search engines for example Google, Google Scholar, Web of Science, SciFinder, Pubmed, CNKI, and Wanfang. Additional information was obtained from botanical books, Chinese classic texts, and medical monographs. RESULTS: So far 166 compounds have been isolated and identified from Qinjiao plants together with Gentiana tibetica King ex Hook. f., Gentiana siphonantha Maxim., Gentiana officinalis H. Smith, and Gentiana waltonii Burk. Their constituents are mainly classified into iridoid glycosides, triterpenes, flavones, sterols, benzene derivatives, etc. The pharmacological studies demonstrate that Qinjiao plants display a wide range of bioactivities e.g. anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, hepato-protective, cardio- and neuro-protective, insecticidal, and anti-influenza effects. The conventional quality control is performed by determination of the concentration of some compounds, e.g., gentiopicroside, or establishment of the fingerprint. In addition to seed propagation, tissue culture technology has been used to address the limited supplies and guarantee the sustainable development of Qinjiao in the experimental scale. CONCLUSIONS: Although the identification of compounds from Qinjiao and demonstration of medicinal uses in vitro and in vivo have been carried out, various other studies on these plants should deserve our more attention. More efforts should be concentrated on the underlying mechanisms of their beneficial bioactivities. The proper toxic evaluation is indispensable to guarantee the safety, efficacy, and eligibility for medical use. To sum up, the summarized achievements could highlight the importance of Qinjiao and provide a solid foundation for scientists not only to further exploit the therapeutic potentials, but also possibly develop novel drugs in the subsequent research.

Diosgenin wastewater produced from <b>Dioscorea zingiberensis</b> C. H. Wright in diosgenin enterprise is the by-product of numerous operations chiefly including washing raw materials, acid hydrolysis, and cleaning the apparatus with water. It requires the removal of high concentrations of various organic and inorganic contaminants from this wastewater in order to avoid pollution to the environment and fresh water system. Currently, several different methods such as chemical, physicochemical, biological recovery resource, constructed wetland, and integrated methods of these processes are being applied for treating diosgenin wastewater. Aiming to get a comprehensive overview, available reports from experimental scale to industry scale about the treatment of this wastewater were collected and summarized. Therefore, this review paper will provide appropriate choice for the efficient treatment of diosgenin wastewater and supportive information for the other scientists who want to continue this valuable research in the future.<br><br>Display Omitted<br>• Studies of diosgenin wastewater treatment between 2003 and 2016 are reviewed. • Characteristics of diosgenin wastewater are presented. • These methods used for diosgenin wastewater are compared. • Merits and demerits of each approach to cope with diosgenin wastewater are stated. • Future promising ways should be updated based on currently available ones.