Functional and Medicinal Beverages

Volume 11: The Science of Beverages
2019, Pages 73-108

3 - Herbal Extracts—New Trends in Functional and Medicinal Beverages

https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-816397-9.00003-0Get rights and content

Abstract

Medicinal herbs were the basis of many therapeutical beverages used along the history. In the present, complex multidisciplinary researches are developed for complete characterization of herbal extracts leading to novel formulations with functional and medicinal uses. Medicinal beverages can take the form of infusions, decoctions, and macerations representing crude aqueous extracts or aqueous solutions prepared with dried material or liquid concentrates.

Approximately 350,000 higher plants are estimated to exist on our planet and related to this number, we could say that only few medicinal plants were studied scientifically. However, there is scientific evidence of many medicinal plants possessing immunomodulatory, immunostimulatory, antidiabetic, anticarcinogenic, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties, thus being demonstrated their traditional use in popular medicine. In this chapter is reviewed the main knowledge about plant materials, methods of production, biological activities, advantages, and risks of uses of herbal extracts for functional and medicinal beverages. Also, own research results regarding antioxidant and antimicrobial effects of several herbal extracts are shown. Such herbs include Equisetum arvense, Humulus lupulus, Tagetes patula, Sambucus spp., Taraxacum officinale, and others.

Keywords

Herbal extracts
Medicinal beverages
Biologically active compounds
Antimicrobial effect
Antioxidant activity

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