(Natural News) You can keep your skin looking young with medicinal plants, such as night-flowering jasmine, bael, and banana flower, according to a study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
In the study, a team of researchers from Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering and SRM Institute of Science and Technology in India used the leaves of night-flowering jasmine, the unripe and ripe fruit pulp of bael, and the terminal meristem of banana flower in order to examine their anti-aging properties and cytotoxicity on cells. The research team evaluated the phytochemical contents of the plant extracts to determine their radical scavenging activity and total reducing power. In addition, the research team developed a poly-herbal formulation that contained the four plant extracts in two different ratios: 6:2:1:1 (Poly Herbal Formulation 1) and 1:1:1:1 (Poly Herbal Formulation 2).
Results revealed that the plant extracts exhibited anti-aging and anti-cancer benefits. However, Poly Herbal Formulation 1 was more potent compared to Poly Herbal Formulation 2 as it had better anti-oxidant and anti-elastase activities in NIH3T3 fibroblast cells. In addition, it also had better anti-cancer activity in human cancer melanoma cells.
In conclusion, the antioxidant properties present in night-flowering jasmine, bael, and banana flower can be used as a potential agent in the prevention of skin aging and restoration of skin elasticity, making the skin look younger. In addition, these plant extracts can be used as a potential agent in skin cancer treatment.
“Further studies are warranted to purify and characterize the phytochemicals present in plant extracts and investigate the anti-cancer activity of PHF1 in detail using cell culture models,” wrote the researchers.
Other plants for a healthier skin
If the plants mentioned in the study above are not available, there are other plants you can use instead. Moreover, you can also grow them in your own garden or on a windowsill. Listed below are several plants you can grow at home for a healthier looking skin:
- Thyme – Thyme is an aromatic herb that belongs to the Lamiaceae plant family. A study at Leeds Metropolitan University in the U.K. found that thyme killed more Propionibacterium acnes, a zit-causing bacteria, than benzoyl peroxide, the active ingredient in most acne-fighting creams. Thyme grows well in full sun and dry soil. You can use it by soaking the leaves in apple cider vinegar for two weeks, then strain them. The resulting liquid can be applied as a spot treatment for pimples or used as an everyday toner. (Related: 7 Home Treatments to Fight Acne This Summer.)
- Bay leaf – In an animal study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, bay leaf was found to speed wound healing by enhancing collagen cell production and relieving inflammation. Its beneficial properties can also prevent infection in insect bites and cuts. You can plant bay leaf in a spot with plenty of sunlight and moist soil. To use it, dry the leaves in a warm oven for 12 hours. Then, soak in olive oil for a month. Strain it and apply to the affected area.
- German chamomile – German chamomile, a white-and-yellow flower, has anti-inflammatory properties that improve facial redness and relieve dermatitis. To use it, dry the flowers in a warm oven for 12 hours, then soak in olive or jojoba oil for one month. After that, strain and apply.
- Cilantro – Cilantro can be used for lightening skin blemishes because of its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. You can grow cilantro in a sunny location with well-drained soil. Use cilantro as a spot treatment for whiteheads and blackheads by blending fresh cilantro leaves and lemon juice into a paste. Then, apply to the affected area and leave on for three to five minutes.
- Pot marigold – Extracts from pot marigold, also known as calendula, can prevent wrinkles due to its antioxidants in its bright orange and yellow petals, according to an Australian study. Pot marigold enjoys full sun or partial shade and moist soil. To use, dry the flowers for 12 hours in a warm oven, then soak in rose hip or meadowfoam seed oil for a month. Dab the serum under and around the eyes every day to eliminate crow’s feet.
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