Phytochemicals of herbs and spices: Health versus toxicological effects

Guldiken B. , OZKAN G. , Çatalkaya G. , Ceylan F. D. , YALCINKAYA I. E. , CAPANOGLU E.

FOOD AND CHEMICAL TOXICOLOGY, vol.119, pp.37-49, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 119
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.fct.2018.05.050
  • Page Numbers: pp.37-49


Phytochemicals are bioactive plant compounds that can be used as antimicrobial, antibacterial, anticancer agents and are reported to prevent cancer, cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. Herbs and spices are rich in phytochemicals and can be consumed or used traditionally for medical or dietary purposes since the ancient times. However, there may be serious health risks for some population groups such as pregnant women and infants in the case of their unconscious and uncontrolled consumption. Several in vivo and in vitro studies related with the toxicological effects of phytochemicals in herbs and spices created awareness among consumers. These studies indicate the dose dependent effects of phytochemicals in herbs and spices showing toxicological effects at high doses whereas can also be health promoting at lower doses. In this review, two faces of herbs and spices were evaluated in every aspect.