Alantolactone – Definition & Meaning

Alantolactone is a natural compound found in several plants, including Inula helenium, which is commonly known as elecampane. It is a member of the sesquiterpene lactone family, which are a group of organic compounds that have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of alantolactone, as well as its origin, associations, synonyms, antonyms, and examples of its use in sentences.


Alantolactone is a sesquiterpene lactone that is derived from the roots of Inula helenium. It is a yellow crystalline substance with a bitter taste and a strong odor. Alantolactone has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and antifungal properties, making it a promising candidate for the development of new drugs.


Alantolactone was first isolated from the roots of Inula helenium in the 1960s by Japanese researchers. Since then, it has been found in other plants, including Vernonia amygdalina and Xanthium strumarium. Alantolactone is produced by these plants as a defense mechanism against pests and pathogens.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, alantolactone is “a bitter crystalline lactone C15H20O2 found especially in elecampane.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “a sesquiterpene lactone obtained from the roots of elecampane and other plants, used medicinally as an anti-inflammatory and antifungal agent.”


Alantolactone has been shown to have several health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and antifungal properties. It has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory infections, digestive problems, and skin conditions. Alantolactone has also been studied for its potential use in cancer treatment, as it has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.


Some synonyms of alantolactone include inuviscolide, helenalin, and isoalantolactone. These compounds are also sesquiterpene lactones that are found in various plants and have similar properties to alantolactone.


As alantolactone is a specific compound, it does not have any antonyms. However, other compounds that have opposite effects to alantolactone, such as pro-inflammatory compounds, could be considered antonyms in the context of their effects on the body.

The same root words

Alantolactone contains the root word “lactone,” which refers to a cyclic ester compound that is formed by the reaction between a carboxylic acid and an alcohol. Other compounds that contain this root word include coumarin, warfarin, and spironolactone.

Example Sentences

  1. The researchers found that alantolactone had potent anti-inflammatory effects in vitro.
  2. Elecampane tea has been traditionally used to treat respiratory infections due to its high content of alantolactone.
  3. The antifungal activity of alantolactone was tested against several strains of Candida albicans.
  4. Isoalantolactone, a compound structurally similar to alantolactone, was also found to have antitumor properties.
  5. The bitter taste of alantolactone makes it difficult to use in formulations, but it can be masked with other flavors.
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