Phytochemistry and pharmacognosy.

Centre for pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, The School of Pharmacy, University of London, 29-39 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AX, UK.
Phytochemistry (Impact Factor: 3.05). 01/2007; 68(22-24):2960-72. DOI: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2007.06.028
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT During the past 50 years there have been tremendous advances in chemical and biological techniques of analysis that have transformed research in pharmacognosy. The PSE has regularly held symposia of relevance to pharmacognosy and some of these are briefly reviewed in the area of natural products from higher plants. These symposia have charted the developments that link pharmacognosy with phytochemistry and illustrate the application of increasingly more sophisticated analytical techniques to the discovery of biologically active compounds. Plants have yielded clinical drugs, either as natural product molecules, or as synthetic modifications, particularly for chemotherapeutic treatment of cancer and malaria. Aspects of biotechnology, traditional medicines and herbal medicinal products are briefly discussed.

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    ABSTRACT: Objective. To evaluate antinocicpetive and redox properties of the monoterpenes (+)-camphene, p-cymene, and geranyl acetate in in vivo and in vitro experimental models. Methods. Evaluation of the in vitro antioxidant activity of (+)-camphene, p-cymene, and geranyl acetate using different free radical-generating systems and evaluation of antinociceptive actions by acetic acid-induced writhing and formalin-induced nociception tests in mice. Results. p-Cymene has the strongest antinociceptive effect, but (+)-camphene and geranyl acetate also present significant activity at high doses (200 mg/kg). (+)-Camphene had the strongest antioxidant effect in vitro at TBARS and TRAP/TAR assays and also had the highest scavenging activities against different free radicals, such as hydroxyl and superoxide radicals. Sodium nitroprussiate-derived NO production was enhanced by (+)-camphene. Geranyl acetate and p-cymene also presented some antioxidant effects, but with a varying profile according the free radical-generating system studied. Conclusion. (+)-Camphene, p-cymene, and geranyl acetate may present pharmacological properties related to inflammation and pain-related processes, being potentially useful for development of new therapeutic strategies, with limited possibilities for p-cymene and geranyl acetate.
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    ABSTRACT: The chemical composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, and the preservative effect of Thymus capitata essential oil against Listeria monocytogenes inoculated in minced beef meat were evaluated. The essential oil extracted was chemically analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Nineteen components were identified, of which carvacrol represented (88.89%) of the oil. The antioxidant activity was assessed in vitro by using both the DPPH and the ABTS assays. The findings showed that the essential oil exhibited high antioxidant activity, which was comparable to the reference standards (BHT and ascorbic acid) with IC50 values of 44.16 and 0.463 μ g/mL determined by the free-radical scavenging DPPH and ABTS assays, respectively. Furthermore, the essential oil was evaluated for its antimicrobial activity using disc agar diffusion and microdilution methods. The results demonstrated that the zone of inhibition varied from moderate to strong (15-80 mm) and the minimum inhibition concentration values ranged from 0.32 to 20 mg/mL. In addition, essential oil evaluated in vivo against Listeria monocytogenes showed clear and strong inhibitory effect. The application of 0.25 or 1% (v/w) essential oil of T. capitata to minced beef significantly reduced the L. monocytogenes population when compared to those of control samples (P-value <0.01).
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    ABSTRACT: Medicinal plants used in folk medicine are being increasingly studied and used on pharmaceutical, food and nutraceutical fields. Herein, wild and commercial samples of Achillea millefolium L. (yarrow) were chemically characterized with respect to their macronutrients, free sugars, organic acids, fatty acids and tocopherols. Furthermore, in vitro antioxidant properties (free radicals scavenging activity, reducing power and lipid peroxidation inhibition) and antitumour potential (against breast, lung, cervical and hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines) of their methanolic extract, infusion and decoction (the most consumed forms) was evaluated and compared to the corresponding phenolic profile obtained by high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Data obtained showed that the chemical profiles of wild and commercial samples, and also their methanolic extract, infusion and decoction were similar, varying only in the quantities found. Commercial yarrow have higher content of fat and saturated fatty acids, proteins, ash, energy value, sugars and flavonoids, while the wild sample revealed higher levels of carbohydrates, organic acids, unsaturated fatty acids, tocopherols and phenolic acids. The heterogeneity among the antioxidant and antitumour results of the samples and some low correlations with total phenolic compounds indicates that specific compounds, rather than the totality of them, are involved in the bioactive properties of samples.
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May 21, 2014