Health benefits of Arugula: A review

  • University of Okara
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Plants in the Brassicacae family are thought to have various therapeutic and medicinal properties, such as tumorigenesis i nhibition, antiulcer and hepatopharmacy. Annual species of rocket (Eruca sativa) is part of the mustard (Brassicaceae) family. Eruca sativa is commonly used in folk medications and is well known as a cure for renal illness. It contains glucosides, mineral salts and vitamin C and is in this manner thought to be a magnificent stomachic, stimulant, and hence utilized as a diuretic and antiscorbutic. Furthermore, it also showed antisecretory, cytoprotective anti-cancer, antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory activities.

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Antibacterial and antifungal activities of 110 medicinal plants most commonly used in Pakistani medicine were determined by zone inhibition method. The essential oils from medicinal plants were extracted using CO2 supercritical fluid extraction technology. The oils were subsequently purified under reduced pressure to avoid degradation of their components. Strongest Bacillus subtilis inhibition was shown by Petrocarpus santalinus, Valeriana officinalis, Caryophyllus arometicus, Trapa bispinosa and Mentha arrivensis. Whereas, strongest Ganoderma luciderm inhibition activity was shown by Mentha arrivensis, Hibiscus esulentus and Acacia concinna. Many medicinal plants have not shown any inhibition activity against Bacillus subtilis and Ganoderma lucidum. Results of the present study can be very helpful in evaluating the mechanism of action of essential oil extracted from medicinal plants using CO2 supercritical fluid extraction technology.
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The present study explores the chemical composition, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of Omani basil (Ocimum basilicum). Omani basil essential oil was extracted using a Clevenger type appartus. The oil yield of Omani basil was found to be 0.171%. A total of 75 compounds representing 99.8% of Omani basil oil were identified. Linalool (69.9%) was identified as the major component present in Omani basil oil, followed by geraniol (10.9%), 1,8-cineole (6.4%), -bergamotene (1.6%) and geranyl acetate (1.4%). Omani basil essential oil exhibited strong antibacterial activity against all the bacteria tested except Pseudomonas putida and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The strongest inhibition activity of Omani basil was observed against Streptococcus pneumoniae 2 (60 mm), Hemophilus influenzae (45 mm), Candida albicans (45 mm), S. pneumoniae 1 (37 mm) and Aspergillus niger (35 mm). Total antioxidants content quantified in Omani basil essential oil using a commercial kit were found to be 50.32±1.8 mM. The essential oil extracted from Omani basil was found to have higher linalool content, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities than most of earlier reported values. In this regard, this variety can be very useful for medical purposes and in food and perfumery industries.
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The focus of the present study was on the influence of season on yield, chemical composition, antioxidant and antifungal activities of Omani basil (Ocimum basilicum) oil. The present study involved only one of the eight Omani basil varieties. The hydro-distilled essential oil yields were computed to be 0.1%, 0.3% and 0.1% in the winter, spring and summer seasons, respectively. The major components identified were L- linalool (26.5-56.3%), geraniol (12.1-16.5%), 1,8-cineole (2.5-15.1%), p-allylanisole (0.2-13.8%) and DL-limonene (0.2-10.4%). A noteworthy extra component was beta- farnesene, which was exclusively detected in the oil extracted during winter and spring at 6.3% and 5.8%, respectively. The essential oil composition over the different seasons was quite idiosyncratic, in which the principal components of one season were either trivial or totally absent in another. The essential oil extracted in spring exhibited the highest antioxidant activity (except DPPH scavenging ability) in comparison with the oils from other seasons. The basil oil was tested against pathogenic fungi viz. Aspergillus niger, A. fumigatus, Penicillium italicum and Rhizopus stolonifer using a disc diffusion method, and by determination of minimum inhibitory concentration. Surprisingly high antifungal values were found highlighting the potential of Omani basil as a preservative in the food and medical industries.
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Three wild Omani plants, Moringa peregrina, Acacia nilotica and Rhazya stricta, were selected for the present study. Na, K and Ca contents were determined using flame photometric analysis. M. peregrina seeds (22.5 mg/g) and pods (27.7 mg/g) had higher Na contents than A. nilotica (0.33 mg/g) and R. stricta (0.30 mg/g), whereas the K and Ca contents of R. stricta were significantly higher than those of the other two plants. The protein content was lowest in R. stricta (9.8%) and highest in M peregrina seeds (21.0%). The highest total phenolic contents (TPC) were found in M. peregrina seeds (350.3 mg/g) and the lowest in A. nilotica (66.1 mg/g). The major component of M. peregrina seed oil was oleic acid (74.7%). Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analysis (GC-MS) revealed that octadecanal (30.9%) was the major compound in A. nilotica. The presence of various phenolics and flavonoids in M. peregrina, A. nilotica and R. stricta were confirmed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
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We provide an updated version of the Compendium of Physical Activities, a coding scheme that classifies specific physical activity (PA) by rate of energy expenditure. It was developed to enhance the comparability of results across studies using self-reports of PA. The Compendium coding scheme links a five-digit code that describes physical activities by major headings (e.g., occupation, transportation, etc.) and specific activities within each major heading with its intensity, defined as the ratio of work metabolic rate to a standard resting metabolic rate (MET). Energy expenditure in MET-minutes, MET-hours, kcal, or kcal per kilogram body weight can be estimated for specific activities by type or MET intensity. Additions to the Compendium were obtained from studies describing daily PA patterns of adults and studies measuring the energy cost of specific physical activities in field settings. The updated version includes two new major headings of volunteer and religious activities, extends the number of specific activities from 477 to 605, and provides updated MET intensity levels for selected activities.
Interest in medicinal plants as a re-emerging health aid is gaining more importance day by day due to modern concepts like healing naturally, functional foods and the bio-prospecting of new plant-derived drugs. Based on current research and financial investments, medicinal plants will, seemingly, continue to play an important role as an important health aid. In this regard present study was undertaken to determine the mineral contents and proximate composition of fourteen plants extensively used as condiments in the diet of people of South Asian region to evaluate their nutritive value Medicinal plants contain high proportion of Na (1711.21 ± 14.49-7510.80 ± 20.01 mg/Kg), K (11.74 ± 1.02 ∼ 9462.12 ± 1725 mg/ Kg), total carbohydrate (54.13 - 77.79 %) and cellulose (65.11 ± 2.45 - 85.23 ± 2.95 %). Low levels of Li (1.10 ± 1.49- 15.06 ±2.31 mg/ Kg), Cu (20.90 ± 2 14 - 41.45 ± 2.45 mg/ Kg). Co (8.45 ± 1.03 - 85.40 ± 2.52), Mn (0.8 ± 0.01 - 9.55 ± 0.46 mg/ kg) and Pb (0.25 ±0 11 - 1 98 ± 0 16 mg/ Kg) are present in these plant materials. All elemental analyses were performed using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (FAAS) except Na, K and Li, which were determined by flame photometric analysis. Tannin content in food condiments ranged from 0.15 ± 0.05 - 2.5 ± 0.14 mg/ g. All materials were low in, moisture (0.75 ± 0.26 - 10.60 ± 0.87 %) and ash (2.14 ± 0.26 - 15.01 ± 0.75 %) contents. Significant differences were observed in the amounts of Ni (1.70 ± 0.94 - 27.40 ± 3.17 mg/ Kg), Ca (413.80 ± 14.18 - 1930.80 ± 14.02 mg/ Kg). Mg (97.00 ± 7.49 - 157.95 ± 8.49 mg/ Kg), Crude proteins (3.13 ± 0.95 - 19.94 ± 1.26 %) and Lipids (5.11 ± 1.67 - 25.48 ±1.21 %) present in different plant materials However, all condiments are energy rich materials (335.29 - 493.07 Kcal/ 100g). Results of present study could be very helpful to design daily dietary intake of food condiments of individuals to fulfill daily intake limits.
Eruca sativa Miller of the family Brassicaceae is grown in West Asia and Indo-Pakistan as poor quality oilseed crop at marginal land under poor rainfall. Studies have shown that it is salt tolerant as well. When crushed for oil, glucosinolates in the seeds are hydrolyzed by myrosinase, yielding isothiocyanates which make the oil pungent. Due to its bitterness, the oil has almost negligible value in the food market. However, its fatty acid profile shows that it has the potential to be used as an alternative fuel for the transport sector. In the present study, its bio diesel was found possessing more or less similar storing, handling and combustion properties as bio diesel formed from edible oils of soya bean or canola. In addition, due to lower sulphur content, its bio diesel is expected to be environment friendly in comparison to petroleum based diesel fuel.
Arugula is widely consumed in Italy where its pungent qualities are appreciated, either consumed alone as a green, as part of a salad mix, as a cooked green, and now very popular as a pizza topping. The wild form with thin dentated leaves is increasing in popularity. Arugula has appeared in US markets from California production and can be found in select supermarkets as a specialty green and it is often found in farmer's markets as part of a mesclun mix. Arugula is a fast growing, cool-season crop and flowers under long days and high temperature. This crop appears well adapted to the Midwest and offers the possibility of a specialty green that could be available over a long period with season extension techniques as it is adapted to greenhouse culture. Our trials indicate it can be harvested after 20 to 27 days and then sequentially harvested from regrowth. European interest in promoting this underutilized crop has prompted the formation of the Rocket Genetic Resources Network, a project of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI). The proceedings of a 1996 workshop (Rocket: A Mediterranean crop for the world) contains a number of papers on its culture and biology (Padulosi and Pignone 1997).
This work investigates the effect of leaf age (young, fully expanded and mature leaves) as well as storage temperature (0, 5 and 10 °C) on color, chlorophyll content, yellowing, composition, CO2 and ethylene production of rocket (Eruca sativa Mill.) leaves. Leaf age had a significant effect on the levels of soluble solids, total soluble phenols and nitrates and on the metabolic activity (CO2 and ethylene production) of rocket at harvest as well as on the postharvest ethylene production. However, this last effect was not important for the postharvest quality of rocket leaves. Chlorophyll degradation was the most serious postharvest alteration in rocket leaves resulting in yellowing. This process was significantly retarded at the lower storage temperatures, probably due to reduced overall metabolic activity. It is concluded that rocket leaves can be stored successfully at 0 °C with a maximum storage life of 16 days, while at 5 °C slight quality deterioration was observed and shelf-life was reduced by 3 days. At 10 °C, rocket leaves deteriorated rapidly and their shelf-life was only 8 days.
Rocket (Eruca sativa Mill. or Eruca vesicaria L.) is widely distributed all over the world and is usually consumed fresh (leafs or sprouts) for its typical spicy taste. Nevertheless, it is mentioned in traditional pharmacopoeia and ancient literature for several therapeutic properties, and it does contain a number of health promoting agents including carotenoids, vitamin C, fibers, flavonoids, and glucosinolates (GLs). The latter phytochemicals have recently gained attention as being the precursors of isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are released by myrosinase hydrolysis during cutting, chewing, or processing of the vegetable. ITCs are recognized as potent inducers of phase II enzymes (e.g., glutathione transferases, NAD(P)H:quinone reductase, epoxide hydrolase, etc.), which are important in the detoxification of electrophiles and protection against oxidative stress. The major GL found in rocket seeds is glucoerucin, GER (108 +/- 5 micromol g(-)(1) d.w.) that represents 95% of total GLs. The content is largely conserved in sprouts (79% of total GLs), and GER is still present to some extent in adult leaves. Unlike other GLs (e.g., glucoraphanin, the bio-precursor of sulforaphane), GER possesses good direct as well as indirect antioxidant activity. GER (and its metabolite erucin, ERN) effectively decomposes hydrogen peroxide and alkyl hydroperoxides with second-order rate constants of k(2) = 6.9 +/- 0.1 x 10(-)(2) M(-)(1) s(-)(1) and 4.5 +/- 0.2 x 10(-)(3) M(-)(1) s(-) , respectively, in water at 37 degrees C, thereby acting as a peroxide-scavenging preventive antioxidant. Interestingly, upon removal of H(2)O(2) or hydroperoxides, ERN is converted into sulforaphane, the most effective inducer of phase II enzymes among ITCs. On the other hand, ERN (and conceivably GER), like other ITCs, does not possess any chain-breaking antioxidant activity, being unable to protect styrene from its thermally (37 degrees C) initiated autoxidation in the presence of AMVN. The mechanism and relevance of the antioxidant activity of GER and ERN are discussed.
Rocket, an ancient underutilized vegetable crop and its potential. IPGRI: Rocket genetic resources network. International Plant Genetic Resources Institute
  • V Bianco
V. Bianco. (1995). Rocket, an ancient underutilized vegetable crop and its potential. IPGRI: Rocket genetic resources network. International Plant Genetic Resources Institute. 35-57.
Neglected horticultural crops. Neglected crops
  • F Nuez
  • J Hernandez Bermejo
F. Nuez, J. Hernandez Bermejo. (1994). Neglected horticultural crops. Neglected crops. 1492: 303-332.
Role of essential oils in plant diseases protection: a review
  • Z Arshad
  • M A Hanif
  • R W K Qadri
  • M M Khan
Z. Arshad, M.A. Hanif, R.W.K. Qadri, M.M. Khan. (2014). Role of essential oils in plant diseases protection: a review. International Journal of Chemical and Biochemical Sciences. 6: 11-17.