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The most important biologically active substances of the plant

  • The most important biologically active substances of the plant

    Vital activity of the organism is provided by two processes - assimilation and dissimilation, which is based on the metabolism between the internal( cells of the body) and the external environment. For the normal flow of metabolic processes, it is necessary to maintain the consistency of the chemical composition and physicochemical properties of the internal environment of the organism( homeostasis).It depends on certain factors, among which an important place is occupied by biologically active substances coming from food( vitamins, enzymes, mineral salts, microelements, etc.) and carrying out the harmonic interrelation and interdependence of all physiological and biochemical processes in the body. Normalizing, regulating all vital functions, biologically active substances have also an effective therapeutic effect.

    The composition of medicinal raw material includes various biologically active substances of various pharmacological actions.

    Alkaloids are organic nitrogen compounds, mainly of vegetable origin, with basic properties. Base alkaloids, insoluble, usually in water, with acids form highly water-soluble salts.

    From aqueous solutions, alkaloids are precipitated by tannic substances, heavy metal salts, iodine, some other compounds and are therefore incompatible with them in medications.

    Alkaloids have very high physiological activity and therefore, in high doses are poisons, and in small doses - potent drugs of different action: atropine, for example, dilates the pupil and increases intraocular pressure, and pilocarpine, on the contrary, narrows and lowers the intraocular pressure;caffeine and strychnine excite the central nervous system, and morphine depresses it;papaverine dilates the blood vessels and lowers arterial pressure, and ephedrine narrows the blood vessels and raises blood pressure, etc.

    Many types of plant raw materials contain, as a rule, not one, but several alkaloids of often different action, but in quantitative terms one of them predominates, which determines the predominant character of the effectiveness of the application of the medicinal plant and the total preparations from it. Thus, in the root of Rauwolfia serpentine contains 25 different alkaloids, but 10% of the total amount falls on reserpine, which has antihypertensive( lowers blood pressure) and sedative( calming) effect. The total preparations of the roots of this plant also act. The second alkaloid - Aimaline - has almost no effect, it is used as an antiarrhythmic drug.

    Vitamins are a group of organic substances of diverse structure, vital for humans and animals for normal metabolism and vital functions of the body. Many of them are part of the enzymes or are involved in their formation, activate or inhibit the activity of certain enzyme systems.

    In general, vitamins are synthesized by plants and, together with food, enter the body, some of them are formed by microbes living in the intestine. Vitamins of group D are synthesized from lipoids( zh-ropodobnyh substances) of a skin under the influence of ultra-violet beams.

    Insufficient vitamin content in food, as well as a violation of their digestion by the body leads to the development of severe metabolic disorders. The disease that occurs as a result of the lack of a vitamin in the body is called avitaminosis. With relative deficiency of any vitamin, hypovitaminosis is observed. The functions of vitamins are closely related, so usually there are polyvitaminosis or polyhypovitis-noses. The first are extremely rare, hypovitaminosis is more often observed as a result of the irrational

    of nourishment or of the diseases that have been transferred. These disorders can also be observed due to the prolonged use of certain drugs( sulfonamides, antibiotics, etc.).But excessive intake of a number of vitamins is harmful, as it leads to violations of metabolic functions known as hypervitaminosis.

    Vitamins are divided into fat-soluble - A, D, E, F, K and water-soluble - all the rest.

    Vitamin A is available only in products of animal origin. The plants contain carotenoids( see Pigments), which are provitamins of vitamin A. They are converted into vitamin A in the liver and intestinal walls. This process occurs when there is fat in the food, as well as bile and some enzymes in the intestine.

    Carotenoid carrots are rich in carrots, rose hips, sea buckthorn, ordinary mountain ash, marigold flowers.

    The main indicators for the therapeutic use of vitamin A are some eye diseases, lesions and skin diseases, acute respiratory infections, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic gastritis, liver cirrhosis. Vitamin A and carotenoids play an important role in the prevention of malignant neoplasms, and in combination with vitamins C, R and Group B are prescribed for the treatment and prevention of radiation injuries.

    To the group of vitamins E include several compounds - tocopherols. The most active is alpha-tocopherol. These substances play an important role in the exchange of proteins, nucleic acids and steroids, promote the accumulation of vitamin A in the body, protecting it from oxidation. Tocopherols are effective intracellular antioxidants, regulate cell permeability. They are contained in vegetable oils, for example, sunflower, linseed, peanut, soybean, sesame, etc. A significant amount of vitamin E is found in sea-buckthorn oil, cloudberry fruit, chokeberry aronia, dog rose, etc.

    Group K vitamins are derivatives of naphthoquinone. Vitamin K( phylloquinone) is formed in the chlorophyll grains of plants. There are a lot of it in the leaves of nettle, alfalfa grass, pine needles and spruce, the leaves of the cone

    chestnut, carrots and parsley, cranberry, black currant and blueberry. It is also found in products of animal origin.

    Derivatives of naphthoquinone are able to regulate the process of blood coagulation( with bleeding defects), promote the process of regeneration( restoration) of the epithelium of the vascular wall, thus accelerating the healing of wounds.

    Vitamin C - water soluble. Its properties are possessed by levorotatory ascorbic acid and the product of its reversible oxidation, dehydroascorbic acid. These forms easily pass one into another. In the human body, vitamin C is not formed and comes in ready form with food or medicinal forms. It has a multi-faceted effect: it participates in oxidation-reduction processes, affects the growth of the body and its resistance to infectious diseases, the process of blood coagulation, stimulates tissue regeneration, has a beneficial effect on the metabolism of fats and lipids, promotes the excretion of cholesterol from the body,action in atherosclerosis;together with flavoidoid, possessing P-vitamin activity, increases the strength of the walls of blood vessels, preventing their fragility. The notion that scurvy occurs in the absence of only ascorbic acid in food is obsolete. To prevent and treat this vitamin deficiency it is necessary to administer two vitamins - C and P.

    . Vitamin C contains rose hips, leaves and fruits of black currant, sea buckthorn, unripe pericarp for walnut and Manchurian nut, pine needles and spruce, spring primrose.

    Glycosides are organic compounds from plants with a variety of effects. Their molecules consist of two parts: a sugar portion called a glycine, and a non-saccharine part - genine, or aglycone. Under the influence of enzymes or by boiling with dilute acids, the glycosides are cleaved. As glycine, they can contain various monosaccharides, most often glucose, and sometimes specific sugars, which are not found in free form in plants. A molecule of a glycoside may contain one or several sugars. The more sugars in the molecule, the more unstable are the glycosides. Therefore, according to its glycosidic composition, living plants and medicinal raw materials may differ, since some of the sugars can be split off during drying.

    As genin, glycosides contain different compounds, which is associated with the nature of the action of these substances. As a rule, genins act weaker than glycosides. This is due to the fact that the glycon causes a better solubility of glycosides in the water and their absorption from the gastrointestinal tract into the blood.

    Glycosides are usually colorless crystalline substances of bitter taste, soluble in water, diluted alcohol. Painted glycosides are rarely found. So, glycosides of rhubarb, buckthorn - anthraglycosides - have an orange color.

    In medicine, plants containing glycosides of various groups are used. Cardiac glycosides, the genins of which are steroids, contain digitalis, spring gorichvet, lily-of-the-valley - essential for the treatment of various cardiovascular diseases. The phenolic glycosides of the bearberry and cowberry leaves in the body are cleaved with the release of phenols having an antimicrobial effect. And since these substances are formed in the kidneys, they disinfect the urinary tract. Fenoglycosides of rhodiola rosea( golden root) relieve mental and physical fatigue, and substances of tri-colored violets have an expectorant effect. Thioglycosides of mustard seeds under the influence of the enzyme release a highly irritating ethereal mustard oil, which causes the action of mustard plasters. Antraglikozidy buckthorn, zhostera and some other plants are laxative. A special group is formed by saponins whose aqueous solutions form a copious foam when shaken. Their introduction into the blood causes hemolysis destruction of erythrocytes, which is detrimental to the body, and getting into the gastrointestinal tract, this effect does not cause, but have a wide variety of therapeutic effects. Saponins sinyuhi, for example, are good expectorants and soothe the central nervous system. Bitter glycosides are often called bitterness because of their bitter taste. They are used as a means of exciting appetite and improving digestion. A special group is formed by flavonoid glycosides, which have a variety of effects.

    Glycoalkaloids are glycoside-related compounds in which alkenoids serve as genins. Such compounds are found in plants that do not have a close botanical relationship. For example, a chamomile from the lily family, many plants of the Solanaceae family. Thus, glycoalkaloids solasolin and solamargin are found in the grass of the lamellar lobule, which, when boiling with acids, cleave the solaso-din alkaloid. The latter serves as a source of progesterone, from which hormones are then produced at enterprises: cortisone, hydrocortisone and numerous others. This method of obtaining drugs is called semisynthetic.

    Tannins, or tannins, have an astringent taste and are able to turn animal skins into tanned skin. Since ancient times, for the production of leathers, the bark of oak has been used, which is why these substances got their name.

    In air these substances are oxidized, forming flobafenes - products colored in brown color and not having tanning properties. This explains the stirring of the inner side of the oak bark during drying, the red-brown color of the decoction of the turn and other plants.

    Tannins separated from plants are amorphous or crystalline substances soluble in water and alcohol. With salts of heavy metals, they form precipitates, and with salts of ferric iron - colored compounds. They seduce mucus, proteins, glutinous substances, alkaloids, why they are incompatible with them in medicines. With proteins, they form insoluble in water albumins, on which their use in medicine( bactericidal, anti-inflammatory effect) is based. This property is not possessed by flabafenes, so drying of raw materials containing tannins must be done quickly in order to maintain their maximum amount.

    Fatty oils are esters of a triatomic alcohol of glycerin and fatty acids. When boiling with alkalis or under the action of enzymes( lipases), they are split into glycerol and fatty acids. The latter with alkalis form salts, called soaps. Acids can be limiting and unsaturated. Limit - oily, caproic, octane, decyl, lauric, myristic, palmitic and stearic;unsaturated - palmitoolein, oleic, linoleic, linolenic, arachidonic and others.

    Unsaturated acids of fatty oils, especially linoleic, linolenic( and also arachidonic, characteristic mainly for animal fats), are essential nutrients in metabolic processes, especially cholesterol. For example, they accelerate its removal from the body, increase the effectiveness of lipotropic action of choline, are the material from which prostaglandins form in the body. Therefore, this group of substances is sometimes referred to as vitamins( "vitamin F"), however, the vitamin nature of unsaturated acids is disputed by many researchers and therefore they are now called irreplaceable, or essential.

    Coumarins are natural compounds based on the chemical structure of coumarin or isoku-marin. This includes furokumariny and pirano-coumarins. Kumarins are characteristic mainly for plants of the families of umbellate, rut and legumes. Here they are mostly free and very rarely in the form of glycosides.

    Depending on the chemical structure of the coumarins have different physiological activity: some exhibit spasmolytic effects, others - capillary-strengthening activity. There are coumarins curare, calming, diuretic, anthelminthic, analgesic, antimicrobial and other action. Some of them stimulate the functions of the central nervous system, lower the level of cholesterol in the blood, prevent the formation of thrombi in the blood vessels and promote their dissolution. There are coumarins that increase the sensitivity of the skin to ultraviolet rays( they are used to treat leukoderma), bladdering with spasmolytic and coronary expansive action, accelerating the healing of ulcers, stimulating respiration and increasing blood pressure.

    Some furokumariny delay the division of cells and therefore have antitumor activity. This is most pronounced in pulezedanin, xanth-toxin and prangenin. These substances enhance the effect of a number of chemical antitumor drugs( sarcolysine, asalin, etc.).

    Microelements are found in plant and live

    wool tissues in very small quantities( thousandths and less percentages, but in some cases - in hundredths and even in tenths of a percent).Such elements number now 60, of which 24 are in the blood, 30 are contained in milk.

    Microelements are of great importance in human life, since they form part of hormones, vitamins, many enzymes, respiratory pigments, form compounds with proteins, accumulate in some organs and tissues of a person, especially in the endocrine glands. The role of iodine, cobalt and bromine in the function of the thyroid gland is proved. With a lack of cobalt, this gland proliferation is observed due to neoplasm of cells, and excess bromine prevents the accumulation of iodine in it.

    Organic micronutrient complexes are involved in metabolic processes, affecting growth and development, reproduction, hematopoiesis.

    The lack or excess of cobalt, copper, zinc, manganese, boron, molybdenum, nickel, strontium, lead, iodine, fluorine, selenium and others leads to metabolic disorders and a number of diseases( for example, avitaminosis B12 goiter, fluorosis, disease level).

    Need for microelements and plants. For some species of plants, in order to ensure their normal development, growth, prevent pests from diseases and damages, increase frost resistance, accelerate flowering and fruiting during cultivation, efficiently introduce into the soil along with basic fertilizers and trace elements - boron, manganese, molybdenum, copper, cobalt, lithium, nickel and others.

    Organic acids play an important role in the metabolism of plants, they are mainly products of the transformation of sugars, take part in the biosynthesis of alkaloids, glycosides, amino acids and other biologically active compounds, serve as a link between the individual stages of metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

    In fruits, organic acids are predominantly in free form, in leaves and other plant organs, their salts predominate.

    Acids are divided into two groups - volatile and non-volatile. To the volatile include formic, acetic, propionic, oily, valerian, isovaleric

    , etc. Formic acid is found in the fruits of juniper, nettle leaves, yarrow grass ordinary. Valerian and isovaleric acids are found in the underground organs of valerian, fruits of the viburnum and other plants. The smell of plants is due to the presence of esters of volatile acids. Of the nonvolatile acids, the most common are apple, citric, tartaric and oxalic. Apple acid predominates in pome fruits( apples, mountain ash, aronia, etc.), tobacco leaves, makhorka, cotton, celandine grass, juniper fruit. Citric acid is rich in citrus fruits, cranberries, cranberries, Chinese magnolia vine and others. The fruit of the grapes contains mainly tartaric acid. In the leaves of sorrel, spinach, petioles of rhubarb vegetables, oxalic acid accumulates. Medicinal properties are possessed by aromatic acids of plants - benzoic, salicylic, gallic, kuma- rovoy, chlorogenic, coffee, cinchona and others.

    Benzoic acid is rich in fruits of cranberries and cowberries, where it is contained both in a free form and as a glycogenide vaccinine. This acid promotes prolonged storage of fruits, being a natural preservative. Glycosides and esters of salicylic acid are found in fruits of raspberry, blackberry, bark of various types of willows.

    Chlorogenic, coffee, chinic, shikimova and other phenolic acids have choleretic, diuretic and to some extent, capillary-strengthening and anti-inflammatory effect, regulate the function of the thyroid gland.

    Pectic substances are classified as complex carbohydrates. With organic acids and sugars, pectins form a gelatinous mass( gelatinous).This property is widely used in the confectionery industry in the production of marmalade, marshmallow, pastille. With many metals( calcium, strontium, lead, etc.), pectins form insoluble complex compounds that are practically not digested in the digestive tract and are excreted from the body. This ability of pectins explains their radioprotective properties and therapeutic effect in lead poisoning, as well as many radioactive substances( radionuclides).With prolonged use of pectins, intensive removal of these elements from the body takes place. In addition, pectins inhibit the putrefactive microflora of the intestine, inhibit the absorption of cholesterol and promote its removal from the body, which is of great importance in the treatment of atherosclerosis. It is also known that pectins reduce the sugar content in the blood of diabetic patients.

    Pectins are rich in cranberry, black currant, apple, hawthorn, aronia, arborea, barberry, plum, gooseberries, but much more in the pericarp of all citrus fruits, which must be used, for example, in the form of candied fruits.

    Pigments are colorants that determine the color of plants. The green color of plants is explained by the presence of chlorophylls in them, which take part in photosynthesis. They have bactericidal properties. In addition, the chlorophyll grains include a pigment of yellow xanthophylls, carotenoids - pigments of dark red or orange, and sometimes red pigment lycopene. Especially a lot of carotenoids in chromoplasts of carrots, mountain ash, etc. In plants these substances play an important biological role, attracting insect pollinators, birds eating flesh of fruit and spreading seeds.

    Carotenoids are readily soluble in chloroform, benzene, carbon disulfide, fats, and in alcohol and water they are practically insoluble.

    Carotenoids are provitamins A.

    Anthocyanidin pigments have a color from orange-pink to violet-pink, occur in plants in the form of glycosides - anthocyaninins, with acids form salts.

    Many anthocyanidins change their color depending on the reaction of the environment - they can be red, orange-red, purple, violet-blue and blue.

    Many flavonoids have a yellow color.

    Steroids are derivatives of cyclopentane perhydroferne-nitrene. Plant steroids are steroids and their derivatives, some of the sapogenins that make up saponins, cardiac glycosides, genoins of glycoalkyloids and some alkaloids. .. Ergosterol is contained in yeast, ergot horns, mold mushrooms, cereals of many cereals.

    Under the influence of ultraviolet rays, it turns into vitamin D2.

    Flavonoids are phenolic compounds. Many of them are yellow, have P-vitamin activity. Under the influence of flavonoids permeability decreases and the strength of capillaries increases. The physiological effect of flavonoids on the vessels is carried out with the participation of ascorbic acid. The capillary-hardening effect is characteristic of various groups of phenolic compounds, but is more pronounced in catechins, leucoanthocyanins and anthocyanins. In oxidized forms - flavones and flavonols - this activity is lower, but they have an effective anti-atherosclerotic and hypocholesterolemic effect( lowers cholesterol in the blood).Many flavonoids show anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic, choleretic and hypotensive effects. Leukoanthocyanins are characterized by antitumor and radioprotective activity. Catechins increase the effectiveness of X-ray irradiation in the treatment of tumors and enhance the body's resistance to ionizing radiation( radiation).

    Flavonoids are widely distributed in the plant kingdom. They are especially rich in buckwheat leaves, Japanese flower saphora buds, black currant leaves and fruits, aronia blackberry, ordinary mountainberry, St. John's wort, sea buckthorn berries, horse chestnut seeds, nettle leaves, tri-colored violet grass, etc.

    Eczones are substances of a hormonal nature, possesshigh biological activity. Thus, the ecdysones of levzeya safflower have a stimulating and tonic effect. These substances, like glycosides of ginseng, eleutherococcus, rhodiola rosea and magnolia lignans, have an immunostimulating effect.

    Essential oils are volatile aromatic liquids of complex chemical composition, the main components of which are terpenoids. A pleasant smell of lily of the valley, jasmine, rose, lilac, mint, dill and other plants is associated with the presence of essential oils. Essential oils by external properties are similar to fatty ones, although they have nothing in common with chemistry. They are called ethereal because of their volatility. Thus, the name "essential oils" purely

    is conditional and is only traditional, generally accepted.

    Essential oils contain a mixture of various organic substances, both liquid and crystalline, easily soluble in each other. So, in mint oil contains 50% or more of crystalline menthol, and in anise - up to 80% of anethole.

    Essential oils isolated from plants are colorless or slightly yellowish oily liquids with a peculiar odor. The exception is chamomile oil, painted in a dark blue color, butter bitter wormwood - blue-green.