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**Phytochemistry Techniques and Methods:**
– Extraction, isolation, and structural elucidation are common techniques.
– Methods include MS, 1D and 2D NMR for structural analysis.
– Chromatography techniques like MPLC, HPLC, and LC-MS are used for separation.
– These techniques aid in identifying and studying natural products from plants.
– Phytochemists use these methods to understand the functions of plant compounds.

**Phytochemicals and Medicinal Plants:**
– Plants produce chemical compounds to defend against herbivores.
– Major classes of phytochemicals include alkaloids, phenylpropanoids, polyketides, and terpenoids.
– Examples of medicinal plants with active compounds are dandelion and chickweed.
– Some phytochemicals like curcumin and resveratrol have medicinal properties.
– Alkaloids like nicotine and morphine have direct effects on the human body.

**Glycosides in Medicinal Plants:**
– Anthraquinone glycosides are present in senna, rhubarb, and aloe.
– Cardiac glycosides like digoxin are found in plants such as foxglove.
– Senna and Digitalis purpurea are examples of plants with significant glycosides.
– Glycosides play a crucial role in the medicinal properties of various plants.

**Polyphenols in Plants:**
– Common polyphenols include anthocyanins, phytoestrogens, and tannins.
– Found in fruits, flowers, leaves, and bark, polyphenols have diverse functions.
– Anthocyanins contribute to plant coloration, while tannic acids are complex structures.
– Polyphenols can have beneficial effects on human health.

**Terpenes and Thymol:**
– Terpenes and terpenoids are aromatic compounds found in resinous plants.
– Thymol, found in common thyme, has antiseptic properties.
– Terpenes serve as repellents against herbivores and are used in essential oils.
– Thymol is derived from thyme oil, acts as a stabilizer in pharmaceutical preparations, and has antifungal properties.
– Studies have explored the relationship between terpenes and photosynthesis, as well as the health benefits of thymol.

Phytochemistry (Wikipedia)

Phytochemistry is the study of phytochemicals, which are chemicals derived from plants. Phytochemists strive to describe the structures of the large number of secondary metabolites found in plants, the functions of these compounds in human and plant biology, and the biosynthesis of these compounds. Plants synthesize phytochemicals for many reasons, including to protect themselves against insect attacks and plant diseases. The compounds found in plants are of many kinds, but most can be grouped into four major biosynthetic classes: alkaloids, phenylpropanoids, polyketides, and terpenoids.

Phytochemistry can be considered a subfield of botany or chemistry. Activities can be led in botanical gardens or in the wild with the aid of ethnobotany. Phytochemical studies directed toward human (i.e. drug discovery) use may fall under the discipline of pharmacognosy, whereas phytochemical studies focused on the ecological functions and evolution of phytochemicals likely fall under the discipline of chemical ecology. Phytochemistry also has relevance to the field of plant physiology.

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