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Phenolic Acid

Phenolic Acid

Phenolic acids are a class of compounds grouped together due their similar chemical structure. Phenolic acids are found in artichokes, (which contain cynarin); sage (which contains salvin), and other sources.

The active ingredient in poison ivy/oak and sumac and other plants in the same family is 3-n-Pentadecylcatechol, common name urushiol, which is a chemical in the phenol family.

The biological activities of phenolic acids are varied. Cynarin increases bile secretion and reduces blood cholesterol and lipid levels. Salvin shows antimicrobial activity against some strains of bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus among others.

Leung, Albert Y. 1980. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredient used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics. John Wiley and Sons, N Y. 409 pp.