About this Research Topic
Medicinal plants and their derivatives, having long been used as health products and food supplements, still represent innovative strategies for managing multiple human diseases including cancer, cardiovascular, respiratory, infectious, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndromes and neurological disorders. Additionally, many of these products are a source of diets that exert cell protective effects, including anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-arthritis and enhancing memory cognitive functions. An increasing number of medicinal plants are still used in clinical practice and self-care, on the basis of traditional and ethnobotanical experience, often missing a rational characterization of efficacy. Also, detailed evidence about their long term activity and safety is still required. A new field of research is investigating the phytocomplex, the complex mixture of primary and secondary plant metabolites, with specific studies aimed to elucidate the mechanisms substantiating the putative health effects. A wide scientific literature is focusing on the relationships between quali-quantitative secondary metabolite fingerprint and the modulation of biochemical pathways playing key roles in the burden of oxidative and inflammatory stress. In the view of this new renaissance in the use of medicinal plants, a promising approach is also the pharmaco-toxicological characterization of high quality byproducts, traditionally discarded as waste. An accurate evaluation of these herbal derivatives could open an innovative scenario in the pharmaceutical market.
This Research Topic will explore the potential pharmacological investigation of medicinal plant-derived and isolated metabolites’ activity, in relation to efficacy, safety, and applications in improving human health. Particular emphasis will be given to the studies dealing with the potential use of the active components in managing inflammatory processes, deeply involved in chronic and degenerative diseases.
The effects related to chemical and technological processes on biocompatibility are an intriguing matter of debate. Authors could also discuss studies reporting intrinsic and production process-induced toxicity. In this regard, in agreement with world’s recognized ethical principles, including the modern concept of circular economy, authors could submit manuscripts reporting toxicological profiles obtained from validated in vitro and ex vivo methods that could support further in vivo pharmacological studies.
Keywords: Medicinal plant, Inflammation, Inflammatory processes, chronic and degenerative diseases
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