Plants are an inexhaustible source of bioactive compounds that have been utilized by Men since antiquity. Plants’ bioactive substances are called primary and secondary metabolites. Primary metabolites are dedicated to biological functions and survival. Secondary metabolites are luxury products synthesized mainly to defend against predators and to communicate with other plants. Medicinal plants have ever since been a growing source of interest for scientific research as well as food, chemical, and pharmaceutical for their diverse applications for their antioxidant, antibacterial, stimulant, and inhibiting properties. Obtaining secondary metabolite can be challenging as the inadequate choice of extraction methods could alter or destroy bioactive compounds such as thermolabile substances. Hence, a beforehand knowledge of secondary metabolites properties and a mastery of extraction methods are primordial for effective extraction. Extraction methods range from conventional extraction such as solvent extraction to modern techniques like enzymatic assisted extraction EAE and microwave-assisted extraction MAE, which are more efficient methods and more environmentally friendly as they require very little to no use of solvents.
Part of the book: Bioactive Compounds