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Phytochemicals: An Alternate Approach Towards Various Disease Management

Abstract

With the emergence of allopathic medicine system and the industrial revolution, the era of synthetic chemicals came into being which included medicines also. It reduced the load of cultivating and processing herbal medicines to get a larger amount of medicines with moderate effects in longer durations. It was gradually paralleled and later superseded by the use of purified or synthetic chemicals as drugs for treating various diseases including infections. The use of such molecules was a great success, and a revolution during world wars as the discoveries of antibiotics and their synthetic analogs took place. The use of these molecules continued and at later times became humongous as compared to traditional and herbal formulations. However, as is true with any other material, the overuse of these drugs started showing its negative aspects like side-effects, development of resistance etc. The problem specifically became huge with respect to antimicrobial compounds as the microbes started developing resistance towards all such molecules, while the problem of toxic side effects continued. The problem of drug resistance has been also observed in case of some diseases such as cancer and type 2 diabetes. This made the drug development program rethink if we should reduce the use of the synthetic compounds and start exploring back if there are safer avenues available. Exploration and research on phytochemicals present in medicinal plants and functional foods, thus, came as a safer alternative. This chapter tries to explore the information about knowledge available about phytochemicals and recent developments in this area for finding newer and better antimicrobials, anticancerous and antidiabetics.

Keywords

  • Phytochemicals
  • Antimicrobials
  • Antiviral
  • Anticancerous
  • Antidiabetics

Both Vijay Nema and Neetu Mishra have equally contributed.

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Nema, V., Dhas, Y., Banerjee, J., Mishra, N. (2018). Phytochemicals: An Alternate Approach Towards Various Disease Management. In: Rani, V., Yadav, U. (eds) Functional Food and Human Health. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-1123-9_27

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