Chemistry and Health Effects of Bioactive Compounds in Selected Culinary Aromatic Herbs
Raquel P. F. Guine,
Fernando J. Goncalves.
Culinary herbs are the fresh or dried leaves of herbaceous plants that are used as a food flavouring.
Many of these plants are further recognized for their beneficial health effects because, besides
their nutritional value, they are rich in many phytochemical components with bioactive effects.
The aim of the present work was to make a general overview of some of these herbs, including their
gastronomic usage, chemical composition in bioactive components and reported health effects. It was
possible to verify that researchers are continuously exploring the chemical composition and the possible
therapeutic uses of many herbs commonly used for culinary purposes. The most frequently reported
health effects include antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiviral effects. These properties have been confirmed
through in vitro assays, sometimes also through in vivo experiments, and some others even with clinical trials, thus confirming
their effects on humans.
Keywords: Culinary herbs, bioactive molecules, chemical constituents, human health.
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