Cordyceps sinensis is an entomophagous medicinal mushroom, which is mainly endemic to the Tibetan Plateau including the adjoining high altitude areas. The fungus attacks many lepidopteran larvae caterpillars and mummifies it. The larvae along with the mummified insect are highly valued for their medicinal property. Cordyceps sinensis is one of the most efficient and expensive medicinal mushrooms in traditional medicinal systems such as those in China and Tibet, having multiple medicinal and pharmacological properties. It has been used to treat respiratory and immune disorders; pulmonary diseases; renal, liver, and cardiovascular diseases; hyposexuality; and hyperlipidemia. The extract of this mushroom and its bioactive compounds are noteworthy for their ability to regulate lipid metabolism and thereby exhibit anti-lipidemic activity. Cordycepin in particular, which is a bioactive compound existing in Cordyceps sinensis, has been identified as one of the primary compounds of interest in this aspect. Despite the global and scientific interest exerted toward Cordyceps sinensis, it appears to be of utmost importance that the price and other market factors owing to the rarity of this herb are managed through artificial means of synthesis.
Part of the book: Apolipoproteins, Triglycerides and Cholesterol
Cinnamomum zeylanicum is one of the oldest spices used for culinary purposes in Asian countries. Its extracts have demonstrated a positive impact on controlling the progression of disease pathologies due to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, anti-mutagenic, anti-tyrosinase and antidiabetic characteristics. C. zeylanicum also has its unique variations which makes it necessary to distinguish it from other species of cinnamon. Phenolic compounds such as cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, carvacrol, cinnamic acetate and thymol are the main compounds that can be found in essential oils of C. zeylanicum. However, cinnamaldehyde and eugenol act as the main bioactive antioxidant compounds found in C. zeylanicum because of their active functional groups in the structures. There are many examples of the use of C. zeylanicum extracts for medicinal purposes, specifically cinnamon metabolite proanthocyanidins which suppress inflammatory compounds and help pathways such as insulin signaling. Moreover, the bioactive compounds in essential oils of this plant are used against many pathogenic (including food-borne) and spoilage bacteria.
Part of the book: Antioxidants