Natural monophenols exhibit various properties including antioxidant, therapeutic action
and toxicity. This review is unique in application of a unifying mechanistic theme comprising electron
transfer, reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress. Representative phenols are as follows: salicylic
acid, guaiacol, eugenol, (S)-tyrosine, vanillin, capsaicin, 6-gingerol, carvacrol, thymol, tocopherol,
5-hydroxytryptamine, psilocin, sesamol, estradiol, cannabinoids, etoposide, morphine and heroin,
cresols, and other related phenols, such as platensimycin and polyphenols (vancomycin and tetarimycin A). This approach
to mode of action may assist in improved drug design.