Medicinal plants are sources of health-promoting substances, including phytochemicals and phytoalexins that comprise polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamins A, C, E and several other constituents. Many studies have indicated that medicinal plants have been used to treat human diseases for thousands of years owing to their antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. Medicinal plants reduce the oxidative stress in cells and prevent cancer, cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, neurodegenerative and digestive system disorders. These potential beneficial effects have been attributed to the presence of bioactive compounds that show antioxidant properties by acting as free radical scavengers or metal chelators, reducing the reactions that produce reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS). Considering the importance of medicinal plants in terms of their beneficial health effects, some of the medicinally important plants grown in Turkey are covered in this review with respect to their antioxidant potential and phytochemical profile.
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