Anti-Aging Potential of Burdock, an Invasive Herb

Burdock extracts can protect the skin, accelerate wound healing and prevent wrinkles.

The fruit of the Bardama plant, whose scientific name is Xanthium strumarium, which grows all over the world and is often considered a weed. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components that may make it useful as a skin protectant, according to new research.

The researchers found that compounds in the thorny fruit of the species reduced the damage caused by exposure to UVB rays and accelerated wound healing in laboratory tests with cells and tissues. Burdock extracts also seem to influence the production of collagen, a protein that gives skin elasticity and prevents wrinkles.

We have found that burdock fruit has the potential to protect the skin and help improve collagen production.said Eunsu Song, a PhD candidate at Myongji University in South Korea, who conducted the research with Myongji University professor Jinah Hwang. “In that sense, it can be an attractive ingredient for creams or other cosmetic forms. It is likely to show a synergistic effect if mixed with other effective anti-aging compounds such as hyaluronic acid or retinoic acid.”.

Properties against diseases and in favor of rejuvenation

Native to southern Europe, central Asia and China and spread across the world, this plant is often found in wet or sandy areas such as roadside ditches and riverbanks. Its characteristic fruits, covered in hard husks and burrs, have been used for centuries in traditional remedies for headache, nasal congestion, skin pigmentation disorders, tuberculosis-related illnesses and rheumatoid arthritis. In recent years, scientists have explored its potential use in treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and cancer.

The new study is the first to examine the fruit’s properties as a healing agent and skin protector. The researchers first studied the molecular properties of the fruit extracts and isolated specific compounds that could contribute to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They then used cell cultures and a 3D tissue model with properties similar to human skin to study how these compounds affect collagen production, wound healing and damage caused by UVB radiation.

Results showed that fruit extracts stimulated collagen production, accelerated wound healing and exerted a protective effect against UVB radiation. By comparing the bioactivity of fruits grown in different locations, the researchers found that those grown in South Korea had slightly higher antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and greater wound healing activity than those grown in China.

More research on burdock

The researchers cautioned that high doses of burdock extract can be harmful and that more research is needed to determine how to use it safely in cosmetic or pharmaceutical applications.

In its burrs, it also has a toxic component, carboxytractyloside, which can damage the liver.Song said. “Burdock showed potential as a cosmetic agent by increasing collagen synthesis; however, it showed negative results at higher concentrations. Therefore, finding the right concentration seems very important and would be the key to commercializing cockle extracts in cosmetics.”.

In the future, the researchers plan to further study the biological mechanisms involved and perform experiments on animal alternatives to explore ways to safely adapt extracts from the cockle fruit for use in cosmetic products.

This research was funded by the Korean government funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant (MIST) (NRF-2021R1A2C10 12890).


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