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      Biological activities and medicinal properties of Asafoetida: A review

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          Abstract

          Ferula asafoetida Linn. is a main source of asafoetida, a strong, tenacious and sulfurous odor, and oleo-gum resin of medicinal and nutritional importance. Asafoetida has been consumed as a spice and a folk medicine for centuries. Recent studies have shown several promising activities particularly relaxant, neuroprotective, memory enhancing, digestive enzyme, antioxidant, antispasmodic, hypotensive, hepatoprotective, antimicrobial, anticarcinogenic, anticancer, anticytotoxicity, antiobesity, anthelmintic and antagonistic effect. This review effectively deals with phytochemistry and various pharmacological and clinical studies of asafoetida.

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          Bioactive polyacetylenes in food plants of the Apiaceae family: occurrence, bioactivity and analysis.

          Many bioactive compounds with known effects on human physiology and disease have been identified through studies of plants used in traditional medicine. Some of these substances occur also in common food plants, and hence could play a significant role in relation to human health. Food plants of the Apiaceae plant family such as carrots, celery and parsley, contain a group of bioactive aliphatic C17-polyacetylenes. These polyacetylenes have shown to be highly toxic towards fungi, bacteria, and mammalian cells, and to display neurotoxic, anti-inflammatory and anti-platelet-aggregatory effects and to be responsible for allergic skin reactions. The effect of these polyacetylenes towards human cancer cells, their human bioavailability and their ability to reduce tumour formation in a mammalian in vivo model indicates that they may also provide benefits for health. The present state of knowledge on the occurrence of polyacetylenes in Apiaceae food plants, their biochemistry and bioactivity is presented in this review as well as relatively new methods for the isolation and quantification of these compounds from plants, plant products and biological fluids.
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            Influence of dietary spices and their active principles on pancreatic digestive enzymes in albino rats.

            A few common spices or their active principles were examined for their possible influence on digestive enzymes of pancreas in experimental rat. Groups of animals were maintained for 8 weeks on the following spice diets: curcumin (0.5%), capsaicin (15 mg%), piperine (20 mg%), ginger (50 mg%), cumin (1.25%), fenugreek (2%), mustard (250 mg%) and asafoetida (250 mg%). Dietary curcumin, capsaicin, piperine, ginger, fenugreek and asafoetida prominently enhanced pancreatic lipase activity. Curcumin, capsaicin, piperine, ginger, cumin and asafoetida also stimulated pancreatic amylase. Trypsin was significantly stimulated by curcumin, capsaicin, piperine, ginger and cumin, while chymotrypsin was stimulated by all the spices tested except mustard. This stimulatory influence of test spices on the pancreatic digestive enzymes was however not observed when their intake was restricted to a single oral dose. The positive influences on the pancreatic digestive enzymes exerted by a good number of spices consumed in diet could be a factor contributing to the well recognised digestive stimulant action of spices.
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              Ferula asafoetida: Traditional uses and pharmacological activity

              Ferula asafoetida is herbaceous plant of the umbelliferae family. It is oleo gum resin obtained from the rhizome and root of plant. This spice is used as a digestive aid, in food as a condiment and in pickles. It is used in modern herbalism in the treatment of hysteria, some nervous conditions, bronchitis, asthma and whooping cough. It was at one time employed in the treatment of infantile pneumonia and flatulent colic. The gum resin is antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant, laxative, and sedative. The volatile oil in the gum is eliminated through the lungs, making this an excellent treatment for asthma. The odor of asafoetida is imparted to the breath, secretions, flatus, and gastric eructations. Its properties are antispasmodic, expectorant, stimulant, emmenagogue and vermifuge. Asafoetida has also been used as a sedative. It also thins the blood and lowers blood pressure. It is widely used in India in food and as a medicine in Indian systems of medicine like ayurveda. Asafoetida has been held in great esteem among indigenous medicines, particularly in Unani system from the earliest times.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                J Tradit Complement Med
                J Tradit Complement Med
                Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine
                Elsevier
                2225-4110
                20 December 2016
                July 2017
                20 December 2016
                : 7
                : 3
                : 347-359
                Affiliations
                [1]R&D Centre, Aurea Biolabs Pvt Ltd, Kolenchery, Cochin, India
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author. sreeraj.gopi@ 123456plantlipids.com
                Article
                S2225-4110(16)30286-3
                10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.11.004
                5506628
                28725631
                dea790c7-f790-42c1-99b6-1330dd7d4125
                Copyright © 2017, Center for Food and Biomolecules, National Taiwan University. Production and hosting by Elsevier Taiwan LLC.

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

                History
                : 6 July 2016
                : 22 November 2016
                : 23 November 2016
                Categories
                Review Article

                ferula asafoetida linn.,oleo-gum-resin,sulfur compounds,sesquiterpenes,biological activities

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