A review of the antioxidant potential of medicinal plant species
Some researchers suggest that two-thirds of the world's plant species have medicinal value; in particular, many medicinal plants have great antioxidant potential. Antioxidants reduce the oxidative stress in cells and are therefore useful in the treatment of many human diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases and inflammatory diseases. This paper reviews the antioxidant potential of extracts from the stems, roots, bark, leaves, fruits and seeds of several important medicinal species. Synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylated hydroxylanisole (BHA) are currently used as food additives, and many plant species have similar antioxidant potentials as these synthetics. These species include Diospyros abyssinica, Pistacia lentiscus, Geranium sanguineum L., Sargentodoxa cuneata Rehd. Et Wils, Polyalthia cerasoides (Roxb.) Bedd, Crataeva nurvala Buch-Ham., Acacia auriculiformis A. Cunn, Teucrium polium L., Dracocephalum moldavica L., Urtica dioica L., Ficus microcarpa L. fil., Bidens pilosa Linn. Radiata, Leea indica, the Lamiaceae species, Uncaria tomentosa (Willd.) DC, Salvia officinalis L., Momordica Charantia L., Rheum ribes L., and Pelargonium endlicherianum. The literature reveals that these natural antioxidants represent a potentially side effect-free alternative to synthetic antioxidants in the food processing industry and for use in preventive medicine.
Journal: Food and Bioproducts Processing - Volume 89, Issue 3, July 2011, Pages 217–233