Mediterranean Plants Diversity: Chemical Characterization, Biological Activity and Application Fields

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Phytochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2024) | Viewed by 4352

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems in the Mediterranean, National Research Council (ISAFOM-CNR), Via Empedocle, 58, 95128 Catania, Italy
Interests: natural products; carbohydrates; minerals; bioactive compounds; phytochemicals; secondary me-tabolites; phenolics; flavonoids; antioxidant activity; phytoremediation; ion chromatography; HPLC; HPAEC-PAD

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change and the safeguarding of biodiversity represent two of the key environmental challenges of our time. The significant increase in average seasonal temperatures is affecting our climate. If not mitigated through targeted actions, these effects are likely to worsen in the coming years, with repercussions on our entire ecosystem, especially in light of the constant decrease in the biodiversity of flora and fauna, resulting in a general depletion of the natural resources on earth. During the course of evolution, plants have developed mechanisms of physical and chemical defense against various adverse environmental factors. Of these strategies, one of the most important is the production of secondary metabolites, which provide plants with greater resistance to biotic or abiotic stress. Plants are a valuable source of bioactive compounds, as well as minerals and carbohydrates (e.g., fructose or inulin). This enables their application in different sectors, such as the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.  

The Mediterranean basin is one of the world’s major centers of biodiversity. For this reason, collective commitment and action are required to preserve and enhance the genetic resources available in this part of the world. This Special Issue aims to contribute towards efforts to enhance Mediterranean plant biodiversity through research adopting multidisciplinary approaches so as to highlight the morphological and biochemical characteristics of different plant species and their potential applications.

We welcome submissions of all article types to this Special Issue, focusing on topics including, but not limited to, the keywords listed below.

Dr. Claudia Genovese
Dr. Nicola Cicero
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • bioactive compounds
  • phytochemicals
  • secondary metabolites
  • phenolics
  • flavonoids
  • antioxidants
  • carbohydrates
  • minerals
  • sustainability
  • phytochemistry
  • natural products
  • chromatography
  • extraction techniques
  • climate change adaptation
  • phytoremediation
  • abiotic stress
  • food and feed additives
  • nutraceuticals
  • biological sciences
  • biodiversity
  • biotechnological applications
  • plant genomics
  • plant and soil microbiome.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

38 pages, 410 KiB  
Review
Plants in Menstrual Diseases: A Systematic Study from Italian Folk Medicine on Current Approaches
by Rosalucia Mazzei, Claudia Genovese, Angela Magariello, Alessandra Patitucci, Giampiero Russo and Giuseppe Tagarelli
Plants 2024, 13(5), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13050589 - 22 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1506
Abstract
Background: Plant-based remedies have been used since antiquity to treat menstrual-related diseases (MD). From the late nineteenth to the early to mid-twentieth century, Italian folk remedies to treat “women’s diseases” were documented in a vast corpus of literature sources. Aim: The purpose of [...] Read more.
Background: Plant-based remedies have been used since antiquity to treat menstrual-related diseases (MD). From the late nineteenth to the early to mid-twentieth century, Italian folk remedies to treat “women’s diseases” were documented in a vast corpus of literature sources. Aim: The purpose of this paper is to bring to light the plant-based treatments utilized by Italian folk medicine to heal clinical manifestations of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea and menstrual disorders in an attempt to discuss these remedies from a modern pharmacological point of view. Moreover, we compare the medical applications described by Hippocrates with those utilized by Italian folk medicine to check if they result from a sort of continuity of use by over two thousand years. Results: Out of the 54 plants employed in Italian folk medicine, 25 (46.3%) were already documented in the pharmacopoeia of the Corpus Hippocraticum for treating MD. Subsequently, a detailed search of scientific data banks such as Medline and Scopus was undertaken to uncover recent results concerning bioactivities of the plant extracts to treat MD. About 26% of the plants used by Italian folk medicine, nowadays, have undergone human trials to assess their actual efficacy. At the same time, about 41% of these herbal remedies come back to in different countries. Conclusions: Active principles extracted from plants used by Italian folk healers could be a promising source of knowledge and represent strength candidates for future drug discovery for the management of MD. Full article
17 pages, 1840 KiB  
Review
Polyphenols from Mediterranean Plants: Biological Activities for Skin Photoprotection in Atopic Dermatitis, Psoriasis, and Chronic Urticaria
by Eleonora Di Salvo, Sebastiano Gangemi, Claudia Genovese, Nicola Cicero and Marco Casciaro
Plants 2023, 12(20), 3579; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12203579 - 15 Oct 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1971
Abstract
Polyphenols are a diverse class of natural compounds that are widely distributed in various fruits, vegetables, and herbs. They possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and bring benefits in the prevention and treatment of various diseases. Studies suggested that polyphenols may improve cardiovascular health [...] Read more.
Polyphenols are a diverse class of natural compounds that are widely distributed in various fruits, vegetables, and herbs. They possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and bring benefits in the prevention and treatment of various diseases. Studies suggested that polyphenols may improve cardiovascular health and may have neuroprotective effects. The Mediterranean region is a vast area. Although the territory encompasses a wide variety of cultures and dietary patterns, there are some commonalities in terms of the plant-based foods and their polyphenol content. Such polyphenols have been studied for their potential photoprotective effects on the skin. We focused on nutraceutical effects of Mediterranean plants in skin photoprotection in atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and chronic urticaria. Results highlight the importance of exploring natural compounds for therapeutic purposes. The wide variety of polyphenols found in different foods and plants allows for a diverse range of pharmacological effects. The Mediterranean diet, rich in polyphenol-containing foods, is associated with a lower incidence of various chronic diseases, including dermatological conditions. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms of action and optimal dosing of polyphenols, there is initial evidence to support their potential use as adjunctive therapy for atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and chronic urticaria. Full article
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