New Findings from Natural Substances

Insights into the Recent Application of Rosmarinic Acid in Therapy

Author(s): Ilham Touiss*, Mahmoud A. Elfaky, Mohamed L. Ashour and Hicham Harnafi

Pp: 81-103 (23)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815051421122010006

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Herbs are key players in many traditional health care systems that have been used in medical practices since ancient times. The beneficial therapeutic effects of these medicinal plants resulted from the combinations of their secondary metabolite. Nowadays, the use of natural compounds is increasing around the world due to their relatively mild potentials and low side effects, Polyphenols are the most important compounds that exhibit diverse activities. Among these polyphenols, rosmarinic acid (RA) attracted much attention from the researchers since it was isolated as the main compound in many plants, like those of the Boraginaceae and Lamiaceae families such as Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) and Ocimum baslicum (sweet basil). It is an ester of caffeic acid and 3,4-dihydroxy phenyl lactic acid, which has a wide spectrum of biological, pharmacological and medicinal properties that can be useful in many pathological conditions. Moreover, it presents anti-inflammatory effects, which are attributed to the inhibition of lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenases and interference with the complement cascade. Furthermore, RA has been shown to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, thereby reducing the risk of cancer. On the other hand, it also exerts powerful hypolipidemic, antioxidant, anti-atherosclerotic, anticancer and even hepato-protective activities. The current chapter aims to highlight the therapeutic potential of RA against a wide range of diseases. Given the current evidence, rosmarinic acid can be used as part of the daily intake in the treatment of several diseases, with predefined doses preventing cytotoxicity.

Keywords: Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-cancer, Antimicrobial, Cardioprotective, Hepatoprotective, Neuroprotective, Oxidative stress, Rosemary, Rosmarinic acid

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