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  • 1 Corvinus University of Budapest Department of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Faculty of Horticultural Sciences H-1118 Budapest Villányi út 35-43 Hungary
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Nowadays, plants from the Lamiaceae family (rosemary, garden thyme, sage) are used mainly as natural antioxidants. However, their strong smell and taste are not desirable in the food industry. From this point of view, self-heal ( Prunella vulgaris L.) can be considered as one of the most perspective plants, since it is almost taste-and odourless, and it is rich in phenolic compounds. Taking into account its advantageous characteristics, in 2005, we were the first who examined the morphological and chemical diversity of seven populations of self-heal collected from different natural habitats in Hungary. Our results were compared to a cultivated population, too. The total phenolic compounds (measured by modified method of Singleton & Rossi , 1965) and the antioxidant powers (measured by the FRAP method), as well as the rosmarinic acid content of the samples were significantly different from each other. The highest total-phenol (0.43±0.01 mg GAE ml −1 ) and rosmarinic acid content (1.84±0.03 mg g −1 ) was observed in the one-year-old population under cultivation, while the strongest antioxidant activity was measured in the samples collected in Mátra Hills (0.35±0.04 mg AAE ml −1 ). According to our results, in the future, it will probably be possible to optimise the cultivation conditions of Prunella vulgaris providing high quality for the food-industry.

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