alexa Medicinally Important Phytochemicals: An Untapped Resea
e-ISSN: 2321-6182 p-ISSN: 2347-2332

Research & Reviews: Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry
Open Access

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Review Article

Medicinally Important Phytochemicals: An Untapped Research Avenue

Nyamai DW*, Arika W, Ogola PE, Njagi ENM, Ngugi MP

Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Kenyatta University, P.O. Box 43844-00100, Nairobi, Kenya

Corresponding Author:
Nyamai Dorothy Wavinya
Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Kenyatta University, P.O. Box 43844-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254713375320
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: 21/01/2016 Accepted date: 30/01/2016 Published date: 07/02/2016

 

Abstract

The past decade has witnessed a tremendous resurgence in the interest and use of medicinal plants. The beneficial medicinal effects of plant materials typically result from the combinations of secondary products present in them known as phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are biologically active, naturally occurring chemical compounds found in fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, tea and seeds that promote human health and prevent diseases. The therapeutic effects of these medicinal plants can justifiably be attributed to, among others, the phytochemicals in them especially the flavonoids, alkaloids, sterols, terpenoids, phenolic acids, stilbenes, lignans, tannins and saponins. The abundance of scientific evidence indicates that such bioactive compounds have biological properties such as antioxidant activity, antimicrobial effect, modulation of detoxification enzymes, stimulation of the immune system, decrease of platelet aggregation and modulation of hormonemetabolism and anticancer property. This paper avails a review of medicinally important plant-derived compounds that can be used in design of more efficacious therapeutic agents against many communicable and non-communicable diseases.

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