Biological action of essential oils (terpenes)

Authors:Arun Kumar Srivastava , Vinay Kumar Singh
Int J Biol Med Res. 2019; 10(3): 6854-6859  |  PDF File

Abstract

Essential oils are chemically terpenes that are one of the largest groups of plant secondary metabolites. Terpenoids are multi cyclic structures that differ from one another not only in their functional groups but also in their basic carbon skeletons. They play a pivotal role in oriental herbal medicines and are currently under investigation for their pharmacological activities. Mostly plant derived essential oils consist of chemical components such as terpenoids including monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and their oxygenated derivatives. These compounds have the ability to easily diffuse across cell membrane to induce biological reactions. A large number of terpenoids exhibited cytotoxicity against a variety of tumor cells and also showed cancer preventive as well as anticancer efficacy in preclinical animal models. Gastropods especially terrestrial snails and slugs, aquatic snails are major pests of agricultural plants and carrier of most devastating diseases fasciolosis in cattle/ human population. Plant derived molluscicides are found that most of them are biodegradable in nature and are considered to be bio rational, species specific, non- toxic to the non-target animals and of natural occurrence, thus generating less damage to the environment.