New herbal teas

Master Thesis subject (30 ECTS)
About 80% of the world population currently relies on indigenous or traditional medicines for their primary health needs, and most of this therapy involves the use of plant extracts, often in aqueous solutions. Of the plant-based foods used as medicines, none have received more attention as a group than herbal remedies. Herbs contain a wide variety of active phytochemicals, including flavonoids, terpenoids, lignans, sulfides, polyphenolics, carotenoids, coumarins, saponins, plant sterols, curcumins, and phthalates which are often found in teas, herbal infusions and decoctions. This project aims to study the health promoting activities (antioxidant, anti-diabetic and neuroprotective) of different formulations prepared with maritime plants commonly found in the Algarve coast. All assays will be performed in vitro in 96-well plates using spectrophotometric methods. Antioxidant activity will be assessed using 6 complementary assays (DPPH, ABTS and NO radical scavenging activity, ferric reducing power and iron and copper chelation capacity). Anti-diabetic activity will be assessed by the extracts ability to inhibit alpha-amilase and alpha-glucosidase. Neuroprotective activity will assess the extracts ability to inhibit acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase (enzymes related with Alzheimer's Disease pathology).
There are no special prerequisites apart from biochemical lab experience.
Number of students: 
academic year: 
Contact person email: 
contact person first name: 
Luísa Barreira
Other people involved: 
Luísa Custódio, CCMAR (Assistant Researcher).
Institutes Involved: 
Reference Number: RP-34492