Frontiers in Natural Product Chemistry

Volume: 2

Indexed in: EBSCO.

Frontiers in Natural Product Chemistry is an Ebook series devoted to publishing monographs that highlight important advances in natural product chemistry. The Ebook series covers all aspects of ...
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Sambucus nigra L.: A Potential Source of Healthpromoting Components

Pp. 343-392 (50)

Ângelo C. Salvador, Armando J. D. Silvestre and Sílvia M. Rocha

Abstract

European elder plant, Sambucus nigra L., has been used since ancient times in folk medicine, and more recently in nutraceutical formulations, being considered the medicine “chest” from the days of Hippocratic medicine. This chapter aims at giving a general perspective of S. nigra L. berries and flowers potential as sources of healthpromoting compounds, covering first aspects ranging from its taxonomic classification and geographic distribution, current applications from food products to traditional medicine. Then, a detailed overview of berries and flowers chemical composition, specially focused on sterols, terpenic and phenolic components, and important factors that have impact on their biosynthesis and preservation are presented. Finally, the main findings regarding the potential health benefits of S. nigra-based preparations, namely antimicrobial, anti-viral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antidiabetic are also described, and special focus is devoted to diabetes mellitus and related complications, as it is a disease of a major threat to human health due to its alarming incidence growth.

Keywords:

Chemical composition, Diabetes mellitus, Elderberries, Elderflowers, Health benefits, Sambucus nigra L.

Affiliation:

Department of Chemistry, QOPNA, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal.