Some insights on plant compounds

Some insights on plant compounds
Plants contain innumerable compounds that help plants as well as humans in many ways. These compounds nourish, pharmacologically support and toxicologically affect the human race through many channels. Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals of plants are the major nutrient suppliers for us. In addition to these nutritive compounds, plants do have non-nutritive compounds that play a pivotal role in our metabolism when they interact. Scientifically these compounds are termed as secondary metabolites and these compounds really do many things within us. Alkaloids, terpenoids, phenols, glycosides, phenazines, biphenyls and beta lactum are some of the members of plant secondary metabolites group. The pharmacologically active compounds of plants are usually present in our food and reach us through food ingestion. However, the secondary metabolites of the edible regions such as vegetables and fruits are comparatively less than the metabolites of roots and leaves. Hence, active compounds from those parts are being consumed by us in a specialised way aided by our traditional medicine system. These active compounds may exhibit essential therapeutical activities, such as anti-inflammatory, anti microbial, anti helminthic, anti-oxidant, anti platelet aggregation, enzyme inhibitory, anti carcinogenic, etc. In the meantime, several research reports say that these compounds which cure us in the diseased state may also interrupt our regular metabolism if consumed in larger amounts. There are certain categories of plant compounds that are marked as toxins and allergens, which may interact with our immune system and may bring undesirable interruption, which at times lead to diseases and even death. Plants contain psycho-active compounds, such as narcotics, many mimic substances such as opiods and neuro toxins, etc. In this scenario, a scholarly conclusion is that the plants possess both the good things and bad things. Even the good things can be harmful if they are not used wisely. Hence, an in-depth knowledge of plants and their compounds would help us to explore them more and use them right to produce more nourishing, preventing, controlling and curing effects.
How to cite this article:
Selvakumar Krishnamoorthy. Some insights on plant compounds. BioLim O-Media. 20 , 3-03. 2(3).
Available from: http://archive.biolim.org/omedia/read/BOMA0053.