In many nations of the world, a great number of deaths and morbidity arising from illnesses are witnessed due to lack of basic health care. Phytotherapy has continued to play a significant role in the prevention and treatment of diseases (communicable and noncommunicable). Interestingly, more than 80% of the global populations now adopt phytotherapy as a basic source of maintaining good healthy conditions, owing to the pronounced side effects, nonavailability, and expensive nature of conventional treatment options. While this review looked at the prospects and downsides of phytomedicine as it relates to the national health care system, it established the fact that although a number of medicinal plants had been resourceful (effective) against a range of diseases, with few developed into drugs based on the available phytotherapeutics, quite a large number of them are yet to scale through clinical trials to determine their safety and efficacy. It is believed that until this is done, we hope phytomedicine to be adopted or integrated into the national health care system in many countries.
Part of the book: Pharmacognosy
Zingiber officinale, belonging to the family Zingiberaceae, is a popular spice and herb used as delicacy and to manage numerous diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, ulcer, diarrhea, cold, cough, spasm, vomiting, etc. in folk medicine from China, India, and Arabia Peninsula to other continents of the world including Africa (Nigeria, Egypt, and so on). Though this review is aimed at summarizing the pharmacological potentials of this well-endowed spice, interestingly, we found out that these reported ethnobotanical uses are attributed to a number of inherent chemical constituents including gingerol, 6-, 8-, 10-gingerol, 6-shogaol, 6-hydroshogaol, oleoresin, etc., eliciting various pharmacological effects, not limited to antioxidant, antitumor/anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antihyperglycemic, antihypertensive, anticholesterolemic, antibiotic/antimicrobial, neuroprotective, antiulcer/gastroprotective, antiemetic, hepatoprotective, and antiplatelet aggregation, safety profiles established through a number of studies (in vitro, in vivo, and cell lines), though some of these potentials are yet to be explored. Sadly, even few of these established effects are yet to be experimented in clinical trials, and only until these are intensified would there be prospect toward drug development for preventive and curative treatments. In conclusion, we are able to highlight and sum up the therapeutic implications of ginger and its related derivatives in the management of ailments confronting humanity.
Part of the book: Ginger Cultivation and Its Antimicrobial and Pharmacological Potentials
Grains including wheat, brown rice, millet, oat, and seeds from crops such as pumpkins, almonds, cashew, peas are important staple foods in many parts of the world. Grains and seeds contain proteins and bioactive peptides classified as nutraceuticals. Proteins and peptides are essential components in man’s diet because they provide the raw materials needed for protein biosynthesis and are also a good source of energy. Incorporating grains and seeds into the human diet provide nutritional, functional health benefits, reducing contracting some chronic diseases. They avail the body with a balanced nutrient profile such as carbohydrate, fatty-acid, fibre, B vitamins, minerals and protein. The quest at exploring staples for their functional and health benefits, as well as reducing risks to diseases, has resulted in the investigation of the potentials of grains and seeds, especially the underutilised ones (African yam bean, pigeon pea, Bambara groundnut etc.) for consumption and as an alternative therapy against diseases. This chapter discusses grains and seeds as sources of nutrition protagonist, their nutritive property, health benefits, and the pharmacological properties of bioactive peptides in grains and seeds. However, some under-utilised grain and seed proteins would also be explored for their nutritive potentials.
Part of the book: Grain and Seed Proteins Functionality