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Essential Oils: Natural Substances of Diverse Biofunctions
Manju G. Mallur1, M.S. Mahesh2, Santosh K. Mishra1, Chand Ram1 and Raghu H.V.1
1 Dairy Microbiology Division, National Dairy Research Institute. Karnal 132001
2 Dairy Cattle Nutrition Division, National Dairy Research Institute. Karnal 132001
India is known for its ancient civilization and renowned for our traditional medicinal knowledge, “Ayurveda” unparallel in the world since “Vedic” period. Historically, people are aware of beneficial potentials of various herbs in human health and inhibitory activity towards pathogens as well as spoilage microflora. India even today is well known for herbal treasure and plant based products still caters the needs of traditional medicines. World Health Organization announced that 70 and 85% population of the world and developing countries respectively depend on traditional knowledge for their health needs. About 25 percent of modern medicines of 21st century have plant derivatives as their active ingredients or principles.

Human beings have been searching for natural alternatives to chemical or synthetic compounds in medicine to food spoilage prevention. In recent decades several scientific studies have explored potentials of plant based products in a wide range of applications. This article enlightens some of the aspects of Essential oils which are hydrophobic substances extracted from various plants.