Plants are a natural source of bioactive compounds such as secondary metabolites. These molecules, also called phytochemicals, are fundamental for plant survival and often show therapeutic properties used for the treatment of human diseases. Asperuloside is a secondary metabolite which belongs to iridoid glycosides and is commonly present in the plant family Rubiaceae. In this review we aim to summarize the scientific knowledge on asperuloside, with a special emphasis on its pharmacological properties as anti-viral, anti-malarial, anti-protozoal, anti-tumorigenic, anti-hypertensive, anti-obesity, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent. Preclinical studies in animal models suggest that asperuloside has therapeutic potential that could be evaluated in humans. However, despite its tangible phytochemical characteristics, no clinical trial has been performed so far. Thus, we hope that this review will facilitate scientific dissemination of asperuloside pharmacological properties and encourage researchers to evaluate both pharmacokinetic and toxicity of asperuloside in animal models. This will be the first step towards clinical studies in humans.
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