Suganya Chandrababu, Dhundy R. Bastola

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Culinary herbs are the key players in traditional cuisines from various cultures due to their effect on olfaction. Additionally, the presence of bioactive compounds in these herbs and its beneficial effects on attenuating the risk of developing chronic diseases could be another reason why traditional cuisine are being passed down the genera- tions. However, the medicinal value of the culinary herbs is often challenged by the notion that bioactive compounds consumed are too little to influence the host health severely. We propose that these small bioactive molecules, despite their lower bioavailability, profoundly affect the host by modulating the gut microbiome and its implica- tions on the host health and diseases. Since the gut microbiota interacts with each other and the host immune system to determine their host’s well-being, the transformation of food (nutritional and medicinal) into different bioactive metabolites is important to determine its composition and its implications on the host health. Therefore, there is a renewed interest in identifying herbal compounds’ role in improving gut metabolism by remodeling the gut microbiota, thereby opening new avenues for further research on preventing the biome’s imbalance and protecting the intestinal barrier functions. We have previously engaged in the challenging task of building a graph-based resource for consolidating and analyzing the publicly available data relating to natural prod- ucts and their interactions with the human microbiome. The use of network modeling and fuzzy reasoning has been instrumental in integrating complex biological informa- tion and the extraction of new drug-target associations. This review will highlight the culinary herbs’ role as a potential source of drugs with special emphasis on their im- plications on the gut microbiome. This will be followed by an analysis of research initiatives in system biology useful in identifying maximally selective phytochemicals that can act on single and multiple targets, creating the foundation for a paradigm shift in drug repurposing and combinatorial therapy using natural products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAn Introduction to Medicinal Herbs
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages40
ISBN (Electronic)9781685072872
ISBN (Print)9781685071479
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Culinary herbs
  • Gut microbiome
  • Medicinal herbs
  • Systems biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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