Mint species (Lamiaceae) as a Source of Flavonoids

Mint plants (Lamiaceae) are perhaps best known for their characteristic essential oil. This oil has a very distinct minty aroma on account of the volatile oils that it contains. Many of the health effects of the mint family of plants can be attributed to this oil and its phytochemistry. However, mint contains a number of other important phytochemicals that may provide significant health effects. One group of secondary metabolites within mint plants are the flavonoids, a subgroup of the polyphenols. Flavonoids have been shown to have anti-cancer, cardioprotective, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in humans and animals. A number of flavonoids have been identified from mint plants including apigenin, luteolin, diosmetin, hesperetin, acacetin, nevadesin, gardenin, eupatorin, quercetin and salvigenin. Many of these flavonoids are present as glycosides of various metabolic configurations within the essential oil. Therefore mint plants contain a large number of flavonoids that may confer beneficial health effects. 

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Mimica-Dukic, N. and Bozin, B. 2008. Mentha L. species (Lamiaceae) as promising sources of bioactive secondary metabolites. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 14(29): 3141-3150

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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