Phytoncides are antimicrobial allelochemic[dubious ] volatile organic compounds derived from plants. The word, which means "exterminated by the plant", was coined in 1928 by Dr. Boris P. Tokin, a Russian biochemist from Leningrad University. He found that some plants give off very active substances that help to prevent them from rotting or being eaten by some insects and animals.
Occurrence and function
Cedar, garlic, locust, oak, onion, pine, tea tree, many spices, and many other plants give off phytoncides. Garlic contains allicin and diallyl disulfide. Pine contains alpha-pinene, carene, myrcene, and other terpenes. Sophora flavescens contains sophoraflavanone G.
- J. Jung "Antibakterielle und antifungale Hemmstoffe in höheren Pflanzen Literaturübersicht" – in Journal Forstwissenschaftliches Centralblatt Publisher Springer Berlin / Heidelberg ISSN 0015-8003 (Print) Issue Volume 83, Numbers 11–12 / November, 1964 pages 358–374
- Tambiev AKh, Agaverdiev ASh. "The ability of volatile fractions of certain phytoncide-forming compounds to increase the chemiluminescence of oleic acid" Biofizika. 1966; 11(1):17–57. (in Russian)
- MULLER-DIETZ H. "Phytoncides and phytoncide therapy", Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 1956 Jun 15;81(24):983–4. (Article in German)
- "The phytoncide activity of several varieties of garlic stored for different periods of time" Vopr Pitan. 1974 Nov–Dec;(6):61–2. (in Russian)
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