Hüsnü Can Başer Kemal - Buchbauer Gerhard - Handbook of essential oils

Authors : Hüsnü Can Başer Kemal - Buchbauer Gerhard
Title : Handbook of essential oils
Year : 2010

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Introduction. K. Hüsnü Can Bas¸er and Gerhard Buchbauer. Essential oils (EOs) are very interesting natural plant products and among other qualities they possess various biological properties. The term “biological” comprises all activities that these mixtures of volatile compounds (mainly mono- and sesquiterpenoids, benzenoids, phenylpropanoids, etc.) exert on humans, animals, and other plants. This book intends to make the reader acquainted with all aspects of EOs and their constituent aromachemicals ranging from chemistry, pharmaco logy, biological activity, production, and trade to uses, and regulatory aspects. After an overview of research and development activities on EOs with a historical perspective (Chapter 2), Chapter 3 “Sources of Essential Oils” gives an expert insight into vast sources of EOs. The chapter also touches upon agronomic aspects of EO-bearing plants. Traditional and modern production techniques of EOs are illustrated and discussed in Chapter 4. It is followed by two important chapters “Chemistry of Essential Oils” (Chapter 5) and “Analysis of Essential Oils” (Chapter 6) illustrating chemical diversity of EOs, and analytical techniques employed for the analyses of these highly complex mixtures of volatiles. They are followed by a cluster of articles on the biological properties of EOs, starting with “The Toxicology and Safety of Essential Oils: A Constituent-Based Approach” (Chapter 7). On account of the complexity of these natural products, the toxicological or biochemical testing of an EO will always be the sum of its constituents which either act in a synergistic or in an antagonistic way with one another. Therefore, the chemical characterization of the EO is very important for the understanding of its biological properties. The constituents of these natural mixtures upon being absorbed into the blood stream of humans or animals get metabolized and eliminated. This metabolic biotransformation leads mostly in two steps to products of high water solubility which enables the organism to get rid of these “xenobiotics” by renal elimination. This mechanism is thoroughly explained in Chapter 8, “Metabolism of Terpenoids in Animal Models and Humans.” In Chapter 9, “Biological Activities of Essential Oils,” “uncommon” biological activities of EOs are reviewed, such as anticancer properties, antinociceptive effects, antiviral activities, antiphlogistic properties, penetration enhancement activities, and antioxidative effects. The psychoactive, particularly stimulating, and sedative effects of fragrances as well as behavioral activities, elucidated, for example, by neurophysiological methods, are the topics of Chapter 10 (“Effects of Essential Oils in the Central Nervous Systemd”), Section 10.2. Here, the emphasis is put on the central nervous system and on psychopharmacology whereas Chapter 10, Section 10.1 mainly deals with reactions of the autonomic nervous system upon contact with EOs and/or their main constituents. ...

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