Plants by their genetic makeup possess an innate ability to synthesize a wide variety of phytochemicals that help them to perform their normal physiological functions and/or to protect themselves from microbial pathogens and animal herbivores. The synthesis of these phytochemicals presents the plants their natural tendency to respond to environmental stress conditions. These phytochemicals are classified either as primary or secondary metabolites. The secondary metabolites have been identified in plants as alkaloids, terpenoids, phenolics, anthraquinones, and triterpenes. These plant-based compounds are believed to have diverse medicinal properties including antioxidant properties. Plants have therefore been a potential source of antioxidants which have received a great deal of attention since increased oxidative stress has been identified as a major causative factor in the development and progression of several life-threatening diseases, including neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases and wound infection. Consequently, many medicinal plants have been cited and known to effect wound healing and antioxidant properties. This chapter briefly reviews antioxidant properties of medicinal plants to highlight the important roles medicinal plants play in wound healing.
Part of the book: Wound Healing