Indian medicinal herbs as sources of antioxidants

Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati 781039, Assam, India
Food Research International (Impact Factor: 3.05). 01/2008; 41:1-15. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodres.2007.10.001

ABSTRACT Currently there has been an increased interest globally to identify antioxidant compounds that are pharmacologically potent and have low or no side effects for use in preventive medicine and the food industry. As plants produce significant amount of antioxidants to prevent the oxidative stress caused by photons and oxygen, they represent a potential source of new compounds with antioxidant activity. Traditional herbal medicines form an important part of the healthcare system of India. Ayurveda, supposed to be the oldest medical system in the world, provides potential leads to find active and therapeutically useful compounds from plants. Considering the growing interest in assessing the antioxidant capacity of herbal medicine in this review we discuss about rarely reviewed 24 plants reported to have antioxidant properties. Some of the plants reviewed are part of multi-herbal preparations while others are used singly. Certain herbs like Amaranthus paniculatus, Aerva lanata, Coccinia indica and Coriandrum sativum are used as vegetables indicating that these plants could be source of dietary antioxidant supplies, which is another emerging area of research.

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