Ursolic Acid is a triterpenoid found in many herbs of the Lamiaceae family. These include: rosemary, oregano, marjoram, basil, and more.
Links to Plants Containing Ursolic Acid
The listings of research below represents a compilation of scientific articles found on the topic, with a very brief overview description of each article/study. This compilation of research articles does not necessarily imply that there are adequate results to demonstrate safe and/or effective human use of any herb listed.
- In a review of research, ursolic acid showed anti-cancer, hypoglycemic, cardiac protective, and weight loss activity. From: de Oliveira, J. R., Camargo, S. E. A., & de Oliveira, L. D. (2019). Rosmarinus officinalis L.(rosemary) as therapeutic and prophylactic agent. Journal of Biomedical Science, 26(1), 5.
- Oxidative cell death was reduced by ursolic acid from Origanum majorana. From: Heo, H. J., Cho, H. Y., Hong, B., Kim, H. K., Heo, T. R., Kim, E. K., … & Shin, D. H. (2002). Ursolic acid of Origanum majorana L. reduces Abeta-induced oxidative injury. Molecules and cells, 13(1), 5-11.
ANTI-CANCER / ANTI-TUMOR
- Rosemary extract and its constituents carnosol and ursolic acid applied topically reduced skin tumors of mice. From: Huang, M. T., Ho, C. T., Wang, Z. Y., Ferraro, T., Lou, Y. R., Stauber, K., … & Conney, A. H. (1994). Inhibition of skin tumorigenesis by rosemary and its constituents carnosol and ursolic acid. Cancer research, 54(3), 701-708.
- Phytochemicals derived from spices can reduce inflammatory diseases. These include: turmeric (curcumin), red pepper (capsaicin), cloves (eugenol), ginger (gingerol), cumin, anise (anethol), fennel (anethol), basil (ursolic acid), rosemary (ursolic acid), garlic (diallyl sulfide, S-allylmercaptocysteine, and ajoene), and pomegranate (ellagic acid). From: Aggarwal, B. B., & Shishodia, S. (2004). Suppression of the Nuclear Factor‐κB Activation Pathway by Spice‐Derived Phytochemicals: Reasoning for Seasoning. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1030(1), 434-441.
- Rosemary extract, its waste product, as well as its constituents of tritepenes, ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, and micromeric acid all showed antiinflammatory activity. From: Altinier, G., Sosa, S., Aquino, R. P., Mencherini, T., Loggia, R. D., & Tubaro, A. (2007). Characterization of topical antiinflammatory compounds in Rosmarinus officinalis L. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 55(5), 1718-1723.
- Both oleanolic acid and ursolic acid were hepatoprotective in laboratory animals. They also showed anti-inflammatory, antihyperlipidemic, and antitumor effects. From: Liu, J. (1995). Pharmacology of oleanolic acid and ursolic acid. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 49(2), 57-68. Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0378-8741(95)90032-2
- Melaleuca lencadendron strongly inhibited histamine releases from rat mast cells with ursolic acid, a triterpene, being the most active compound followed by two stilbenes: piceatannol and oxyresveratrol. From: Tsuruga, T., Chun, Y.T., Ebizuka, Y., and Sankawa, U. (1991). Biologically active constituents of Melaleuca leucadendron: inhibitors of induced histamine release from rat mast cells. Chemical and pharmaceutical bulletin, 39(12), 3276-3278.
- Olive leaves from Africa showed antihypertensive, diuretic, antiatherosclerotic, antioxidant and hypoglycemic effects in tested animals related to oleanolic and ursolic acid. From: Somova, L. I., Shode, F. O., Ramnanan, P., & Nadar, A. (2003). Antihypertensive, antiatherosclerotic and antioxidant activity of triterpenoids isolated from Olea europaea, subspecies africana leaves. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 84(2), 299-305.
Compiled by: Kathy Sadowski
Last Updated: 1/11/19