Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Herb Anise Contains Unique Healthful Phenylpropanoids, Study Suggests

Date:
March 12, 2008
Source:
US Department of Agriculture
Summary:
People use anise to add a hint of licorice to everything from holiday cookies to robust bottles of ouzo and raki. Now plant pathologists have found that anise (Pimpinella sp.) is more than just another jar in the spice rack. Researchers have isolated 22 compounds in Pimpinella's essential oils and found high levels of organic mixtures called phenylpropanoids. Phenylpropanoids are found in a wide variety of plants, and some are thought to have health-boosting benefits. However, the chemical structure and biological activity of the Pimpinella phenylpropanoids are unique.

Anise, Pimpinella saxifraga.
Credit: Image courtesy Nurhayat Tabanca, ARS

People use anise to add a hint of licorice to everything from holiday springerle cookies to robust bottles of ouzo and raki. Now Agricultural Research Service (ARS) postdoctoral scientist Nurhayat Tabanca and plant pathologist David Wedge have found that anise (Pimpinella sp.) is more than just another jar in the spice rack.

Teaming up with colleagues in Mississippi and Turkey, they isolated 22 compounds in Pimpinella's essential oils and found high levels of organic mixtures called phenylpropanoids. Phenylpropanoids are found in a wide variety of plants, and some are thought to have health-boosting benefits.

However, the chemical structure and biological activity of the Pimpinella phenylpropanoids are unique. Some phenylpropanoid compounds the team found have only been found in Pimpinella, and four of the compounds they isolated had never before been identified in any plant.

The compounds were evaluated for their activities against the plant fungus Colletotrichum, which causes anthracnose diseases worldwide. One unique compound was especially effective against strawberry anthracnose and strawberry soft rot and leaf blight. In addition, Pimpinella isaurica essential oils were more effective in controlling aphids than isolated Pimpinella phenylpropanoids.

These compounds were also tested for their activity against various major and minor microbes. A few showed some effectiveness against Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria in humans, and Mycobacterium intracellulare, a bacterium which can cause illness in immunocompromised patients.

Some phenylpropanoids exhibited anti-inflammatory activities. Pimpinella essential oils also showed estrogenic effects in a yeast model and were considered to have phytoestrogen properties.

These results suggest that Pimpinella essential oils may be a source of potent compounds that could be used in developing powerful new pharmaceuticals and agrochemical agents.

Tabanca and Wedge work at the ARS Natural Products Utilization Research Laboratory in Oxford, Miss. Other researchers who contributed to this research include K. Husnu Can Baser and Nese Kirimer with Anadolu University in Eskisehir, Turkey; Erdal Bedir with Ege University in Izmir, Turkey; Ikhlas Khan and Shabana Khan from the University of Mississippi; and Blair Sampson, who works at the ARS Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory in Poplarville, Miss.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Department of Agriculture. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

US Department of Agriculture. "Herb Anise Contains Unique Healthful Phenylpropanoids, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080307082741.htm>.
US Department of Agriculture. (2008, March 12). Herb Anise Contains Unique Healthful Phenylpropanoids, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080307082741.htm
US Department of Agriculture. "Herb Anise Contains Unique Healthful Phenylpropanoids, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080307082741.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins