Document Type : Review
Nutritional Health Research Center, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran.
Background and objective: Echinophora is a plant of Umbelliferae family. In Iran, it has four herbaceous, perennial, and aromatic species. Echinophora platyloba and Echinophora cinerea are two endemic species of Iran. Aerial parts of the plant are used for several purposes. It is used as condiment in buttermilk, yogurt, and pickles. Echinophora is also used in traditional medicine for remediation of stomach. Several studies have been done to identify the components with healing properties in Echinophora. This review reports and discusses chemical composition, antioxidant potency, and antibacterial properties of Echinophora.
Results and conclusion: Echinophora essential oil contains several phytochemicals in the class of alkaloids and flavonoids. Among them, α-phellandrene has been introduced as the most abundant. Phenolic compounds of Echinophora essential oil are of potent natural antioxidants. Echinophora essential oil can also be used as antimicrobial agent in foods. In this regard, carvacrol, linalool, p-cymene, pinene, and terpinene are of its antibacterial components. According to the literature, the essential oil could extend the shelf life of mushroom, chicken, fish fillets, and strawberries. Furthermore, due to its antifungal activity, it can be used as a natural preservative in food products such as cheese. In general, with respect to the health benefits of Echinophora essential oil, it is of interest in food industry, medicine, pharmaceutics, and cosmetic industry owing to the phenol contents and considerable antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.