Volume 2 Issue 6 - 2016
Back to the Natural Herbs
Ali Hafez El-Far1*, Yasser S. El-Sayed2 and Hazem M. Shaheen3
1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Damanhour University, Egypt
2Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Damanhour University, Egypt
3Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Damanhour University, Egypt
*Corresponding Author: Ali Hafez El-Far, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Damanhour University, Egypt.
Received: December 26, 2016; Published: December 27, 2016
Citation: Ali Hafez El-Far., et al. “Back to the Natural Herbs”. EC Pharmacology and Toxicology 2.6 (2016): 273-276.
Regarding the environmental hazards arise from pollutions of air, water, and foods, we suggest people all over the world to use the natural herbs as a daily lifestyle to control the dangerous complains of toxicants. Moreover, there is an increased demand for using plants in therapy “Back to nature” instead of using synthetic drugs, which have many adverse effects that may be more dangerous than the diseases itself [1]. In the following report, we will mention some herbs that recommended for dietary lifestyle.
Nigella sativa
Nigella sativa seeds and its products are one of the most medicinal plants. The use of them in the field of therapy is so old. The ancient Egyptians used N. sativa in the treatment of many diseases. Moreover, it is one of the most important Islamic traditional medicine. N. sativa and its active constituent thymoquinone (TQ) have long been used in traditional medicine for treating various conditions related to the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems as well as different types of cancers [2]. N. sativa seeds have a long-term history in medicine with diverse therapeutic benefits against hypertension, headache, bronchial asthma, gastrointestinal problems and eczema [3] in addition to antioxidant activity [4,5]. It has been reported thymoquinone (TQ), present in a volatile oil of N. Sativa induces antioxidant, antiinflammatory [6,7] and inhibits the development of many types of malignant neoplastic disease cells [8,9].
Costus speciosus
Costus speciosus is native to South East Asia, especially found in India, Srilanka, Indonesia and Malaysia. C. speciosus have numerous therapeutic potentials against a wide variety of complains. The therapeutic properties of C. speciosus are attributed to the presence of various ingredients such as alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, phenols, saponins, sterols and sesquiterpenes. The rhizomes and roots are ascribed to have an anthelmintic, expectorant, tonic, aphrodisiac, flatulence, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antihyperlipidemic, antispasmodic and antimicrobial activities [10]. Indeed, leaf extract of C. speciosus shows potential in vitro anticancer activity toward liver cancer [11]. In vitro studies were stated the antioxidant potentials of C. speciosus extracts, which integrate hydroxyl radical scavenging activities and free radical quenching abilities [12]. The anticancer potential of C. speciosus rhizome extract was evaluated in human colon adenocarcinoma cell lines by the annexin-fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated assay. C. speciosus rhizome extract showed significant antioxidant and antiproliferative activities in a dose- and time-dependent manners [13].
Phoenix dactylifera
Phoenix dactylifera belongs to the Arecaceae family; its leaves, barks, pits, fruits and pollens have antioxidant, anticancer, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, nephroprotective, gastrointestinal protective, antidiabetic, antihyperlipidemic, sexual improvement and antimicrobial potentials [24]. The broad pharmacological effects of P. dactylifera may be attributed to the powerful and beneficial ingredients including phenolics, flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and organic acids [14]. P. dactylifera belongs to the Arecaceae botanical family, which contains about 200 genera with around 3,000 species [15]. P. dactylifera have been developed in the Middle East over the last 6000 years [16]. Numerous research studies have proven the preventive effect of P. dactylifera against different environmental chemicals that may be toxic for some tissues in animal and human [17]. Phenolics of powerful antioxidants have been isolated from P. dactylifera such as ferulic, gallic, catechin, chlorogenic, caffeic, coumaric, resorcinol, protocatechuic, dactyliferic, 3-o-caffeoylshikimic, sinapic, p-hydroxybenzoic, vanillic, syringic, procyanidin and isochlorogenic acids [18-20]. The anthocyanins, apigenin, isoquercetrin, quercetin, quercetrin, procyanidins, luteolin and rutin constitute the flavonoid content of P. dactylifera. Moreover, P.dactylifera contains considerable amounts of antioxidant vitamins C, A and E [21-23].
Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.), a member of the Asteraceae family, is a well-recognized herb possessing several biological activities. It is native to Europe and Asia, and was grown by ancient Egyptians as a medicinal plant, vegetable crop, and animal feed [25]. Chicory has been used in traditional medication for the treatment of various diseases, particularly bowel-gastric disorders. Important phytochemicals with nutraceutical potential are distributed throughout the plant such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, coumarin, cinnamic and quinic acid derivatives, and anthocyanins [26]. As well, it contains compounds with putative health benefits, such as alkaloids, inulin, sesquiterpene lactones, vitamins, chlorophyll pigments, unsaturated sterols, saponins, and tannins [27]. Fresh chicory root has been stated to possess antimicrobial, anti-hyperglycemic, immunostimulant, antioxidant, anti-toxic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor activities [28]. Leaves also are good sources of phenols, vitamins A and C as well as potassium, calcium, and phosphorus [29]. Due to phytochemical and nutritional composition, C. intybus L. would be an outstanding candidate in pharmaceutical formulations and play a significant role in improving the health.
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  2. El-Far AH. “Thymoquinone anticancer discovery: Possible mechanisms”. Current Drug Discovery Technologies 12.2 (2015): 80-89.
  3. Salem ML. “Immunomodulatory and therapeutic properties of the nigella sativa l. Seed”. International Immunopharmacology 5.13-14 (2005): 1749-1770.
  4. Ayoub MM., et al. “The biochemical protective role of some herbs against aflatoxicosis in ducklings ii nigella sativa”. Lucrari Scintifice 55 (2011): 68-77.
  5. El-Far A H., et al. “Antioxidant and antinematodal effects of nigella sativa and zingiber officinale supplementations in ewes”. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research 26.1 (2014): 222-227.
  6. Kruk I., et al. “The effect of thymol and its derivatives on reactions generating reactive oxygen species”. Chemosphere 41.7 (2000): 1059-1064.
  7. Ravindran J., et al. “Thymoquinone poly (lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles exhibit enhanced anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, and chemosensitization potential”. Biochemical Pharmacology 79.11 (2010): 1640-1647.
  8. Banerjee S., et al. “Review on molecular and therapeutic potential of thymoquinone in cancer”. Nutrition and Cancer 62.7 (2010): 938-946.
  9. Woo CC., et al. “Thymoquinone: Potential cure for inflammatory disorders and cancer”. Biochemical Pharmacology 83.4 (2012): 443-451.
  10. Saraf A. “Phytochemical and antimicrobial studies of medicinal plant costus speciosus (koen.)”. E-Journal of Chemistry 7 (2010): S405-S413.
  11. Nair SV., et al. “Apoptotic and inhibitory effects on cell proliferation of hepatocellular carcinoma hepg2 cells by methanol leaf extract of costus speciosus”. BioMed Research International (2014).
  12. Vijayalakshmi MA and Sarada NC. “Screening of costus speciosus extracts for antioxidant activity”. Fitoterapia 79.3 (2008): 197-198.
  13. Baskar AA., et al. “In vitro antioxidant and antiproliferative potential of medicinal plants used in traditional indian medicine to treat cancer”. Redox Report 17.4 (2012): 145-156.
  14. El-Far AH., et al. “Date palm (phoenix dactylifera): Protection and remedy food”. Current Trends in Nutraceuticals 1.2 (2016): 1-10.
  15. Barreveld WH. “Date palm products”. Fao agricultural services bulletin No. 101 (2015).
  16. Copley MS., et al. “Detection of palm fruit lipids in archaeological pottery from qasribrim, egyptian nubia”. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London 268.1467 (2001): 593-597.
  17. Yasin BR et al. “Date (phoenix dactylifera) polyphenolics and other bioactive compounds: A traditional islamic remedy’s potential in prevention of cell damage, cancer therapeutics and beyond”. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 16.12 (2015): 30075-30090.
  18. Hamad I., et al. “Metabolic analysis of various date palm fruit (phoenix dactylifera l.) cultivars from saudi arabia to assess their nutritional quality” Molecules 20.8 (2015): 13620-13641.
  19. Mansouri A., et al. “Phenolic profile and antioxidant activity of the algerian ripe date palm fruit (phoenix dactylifera)”. Food Chemistry 89.3 (2005): 411-420.
  20. Hammouda H., et al. “Detailed polyphenol and tannin composition and its variability in tunisian dates (phoenix dactylifera l.) at different maturity stages”. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 61.13 (2013): 3252-3263.
  21. Al-Shahib W and Marshall RJ. “The fruit of the date palm: Its possible use as the best food for the future?” nternational Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 54.4 (2003): 247-259.
  22. Benmeddour Z., et al. “Phenolic composition and antioxidant capacities of ten algerian date (phoenix dactylifera l.) cultivars: A comparative study”. Journal of Functional Foods 5.1 (2013): 346- 354.
  23. Mohamed RM., et al. “Chemical composition, antioxidant capacity, and mineral extractability of sudanese date palm (phoenix dactylifera l.) fruits”. Food Science and Nutrition 2.5 (2014): 478-489.
  24. El-Neweshy MS., et al. “Therapeutic effects of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) pollen extract on cadmium-induced testicular toxicity.” Andrologia 45.6 (2013): 369-378.
  25. Sinkovič L., et al. “Phenolic profiles in leaves of chicory cultivars (Cichorium intybus L.) as influenced by organic and mineral fertilizers” Food Chemistry 166 (2015): 507-513.
  26. Abbas ZK., et al. “Phytochemical, antioxidant and mineral composition of hydroalcoholic extract of chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) leaves.” Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences 22.3 (2015): 322-326.
  27. Sahan Y., et al. “Phenolics, antioxidant capacity and bioaccessibility of chicory varieties (Cichorium spp.) grown in Turkey”. Food Chemistry 217 (2017): 483-489.
  28. El-Sayed YS., et al. “Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) root extract regulates the oxidative status and antioxidant gene transcripts in CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity” PLoS One (2015).
  29. Mulabagal V., et al. “Characterization and quantification of health beneficial anthocyanins in leaf chicory (Cichorium intybus) varieties”. European Food Research and Technology 230 (2009): 47.
Copyright: © 2016 Ali Hafez El-Far., et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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