Spices and herbs have been used for centuries for treating and preventing
many ailments. They have been popularised over the commercial and new drugs due to
their purported therapeutic efficacy with lesser side effects, easy availability, and costefficiency.
Herbal extracts contain mixtures of phytochemicals, mainly secondary
metabolites, which include fatty acids, sterols, alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides,
saponins, tannins, terpenes, and many others. Phytochemicals play a vital role in
maintaining chemical balance in the brain and, therefore, can be targeted to treat neural
disorders. In recent years, many herbs and spices have gained attention in the treatment
of neurological disorders. Although the precise mechanisms of action of herbal
medicines have not yet been defined, some of them have been shown to exert antiinflammatory
and antioxidant activities. Several herbs and spices have also shown
neuroprotective activity, and their extracts have been found to be effective in learning
and memory improvement, depression, anxiety, pain, Alzheimer’s disease and other
neurodegenerative conditions. Based on the investigations on herbal plants and
neurological substrates in disease conditions, herbal medicines can be effectively used
in the treatment of various neurological disorders.
Keywords: Antioxidant, Depression, Herbs, Neurodegeneration, Reactive oxygen species, Spices.