(NaturalNews) Rose, witch hazel and white tea may sound like the refrain from a folk song, but the trio of natural substances delivers both health and skin benefits through their ability to halt inflammation say British researchers. Health issues including cancer, arthritis and diabetes have all been linked to inflammation, which is also responsible for premature signs of aging.
Health and Beauty Benefits
The recent research project involved an unusual collaboration between academic researchers from London's Kingston University and scientists from the British beauty product firm Neal's Yard Remedies. The research team was led by Professor Declan Naughton of the University's Life Sciences department. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Inflammation in October of 2011.
Researchers performed laboratory tests analyzing twenty-one plant extracts for evidence of their ability to fight cancer as well as to slow the effects of aging on skin. Of the extracts tested, white tea, witch hazel and rose were proven to block the effects of inflammation. Encouraged by initial positive laboratory results, the research team members added different concentrations of freeze-dried white tea powder, dried witch hazel herb and rose extract in medicinal tincture form to human skin cells. "As the largest organ in the body, the skin provides a barrier against UV radiation, chemicals, microbes and physical pollutants," researcher Tamsyn Thring, a Kingston University PhD candidate, said. "Challenges like this can contribute to both inflammation and skin aging.
The researchers believe the three natural substances contain compounds which have the ability to halt inflammation "When inflammation starts -- be it a simple cut to a finger or in an arthritic joint -- the body starts producing a compound called interleukin 8, which helps the process along. We began wondering if there was a way we could switch that signal off, thereby blocking the inflammation's progress" Thring explains.
Folk Wisdom Validated Through Science
White tea seems to have the strongest effect of the three substances. "Drinking a simple cup of white tea might well help reduce an individual's risk of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis or even just age-associated wrinkles," states Naughton.
"For thousands of years people used natural remedies to try -- and sometimes succeed -- in curing their ailments and preserving their youth," Naughton notes. "Now the latest research we have carried out suggests a number of naturally-occurring substances may offer the hope of new treatments to block the progression of inflammation."
Although Naughton and Thring's early research results had indicated the natural remedies had some efficacy in fighting inflammation, the researchers expressed surprise at potency of the combination of three natural substances. It appears that white tea, witch hazel and rose extract may hold at least one of the keys not only to maintaining skim firmness and preventing wrinkles, but also to stemming some disease.
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