The use of medicinal plants rich in essential oils can represent a viable source for the control of some diseases, being able to constitute a possible therapeutic alternative due to its effectiveness. Essential oils are natural volatile fractions extracted from aromatic plants and formed by classes of substances such as esters of fatty acids, mono and sesquiterpenes, phenylpropanoids, aldehyde alcohols and, in some cases, aliphatic hydrocarbons, among others. Essential oils have been used by mankind for medicinal purposes for several centuries, with reports coming from Ancient Egypt. In this sense, the present work aims to approach the biological activities of essential oils such as antioxidant, anticancer, antiprotozoal, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities of different plant matrices rich in essential oils.
Part of the book: Potential of Essential Oils
This chapter reviews plant-based fatty acids as well as their methods of production, applications in the industry, and benefits in treatments of cardiovascular and cerebral diseases, besides being a source of food. The fatty acids obtained from vegetable matrices have been acting as alternatives to the use of lipids of animal origin, due to their limitation in relation to the increase in demand. Thus, plants have been investigated in order to act as sources of fatty acids and assist in the supply of such demands. Vegetable oils represent not only an economical alternative but also a beneficial source of human health.
Part of the book: Biochemistry and Health Benefits of Fatty Acids
This chapter will describe the antioxidant and biological activity of Cissus sicyoides and Rosmarinus officinalis leaf extracts, which represent an important natural source of antioxidants. These plants contain several bioactive compounds with high antioxidant activity, such as phenolic compounds, which are compounds that prevent or delay oxidative stress, acting as free radical scavengers (FRSs), and thus reduce the onset of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, stroke, among other diseases. The supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) has been studied to obtain antioxidant compounds from natural sources, without the drawbacks associated with conventional extraction processes, such as the use of organic solvents, which present toxicity and contaminate the extracts, is proposed.
Part of the book: Antioxidants