Plants have played a significant role in providing the hu-man race with remedies. At present, phytotherapy is a recognised complementary and alternative medicinal (CAM) therapeutic modality. It is one of the promising fields in health care as supportive medicine in the treatment of diseases like cancer.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), are constantly generated as normal by-products of mitochondrial respiration. An imbalance between the generation of ROS and cellular antioxidant capacity can lead to oxidative stress. Among the pathologies linked to oxidative stress are atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, inflammation, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and cancer. The human body has innate defense mechanisms to counter ROS in the form of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase (CAT). Consumption of dietary plants as food containing phytochemicals with antioxidant properties, such as phe-nolics and ascorbic acid, can help strengthen the antioxi-dant balance of the body.