For centuries, aromatic herbs and spices have been added to different foods to improve the flavor and organoleptic properties. The use of aromatic plants and spices in phytotherapy is mostly related to different activities of their essential oils, such as antimicrobial, spasmolytic, carminative, hepatoprotective, antiviral, and anticarcinogenic activities. Furthermore, many studies point to strong antioxidant activities of aromatic plants and their essential oils. Knowing that phenolic compounds are the most responsible for the antioxidant activity, the amount of total phenolic contents and content of flavonoids have also been determined. In order to examine the antioxidant properties of five different extracts of Laurus nobilis L. leaves, various assays which measure free radical scavenging ability were carried out: 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl, hydroxyl, superoxide anion, nitric oxide and hydroxyl radical scavenger capacity test, and lipid peroxidation assay. In all of the tests, only the EtOAc extract showed a potent antioxidant effect.
Part of the book: Antioxidants