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Herbal Biomedicines for Dermatological Disorders
Herbal extracts and isolated plant compounds play an increasing role in the treatment of skin disorders and wounds. Several new herbal drugs, medicinal products and cosmetic products for the treatment of various skin conditions have been developed in recent years.
Herbal therapies have been used for the treatment of skin conditions for centuries. Several plant compounds are still used in topical treatments, such as salicylic acid from willow bark from Salix spp. (for desquamation), 8-methoxypsoralen from Ammi visnaga (L.) Lam. (for photochemotherapy), and tannins from oak bark, black tea or hamamelis bark (for oozing eczema). Traditionally used medical plants were evaluated and documented in 300 monographs by Commission E at the German institute for drugs and medicinal products (BfArm) between 1976 and 1993. About 30% of these plants received a negative evaluation. The positive monographs contained 25 plants with relevance for dermatological treatments. They include well-known medical plants such as chamomile, which hazel and marigold. However, most of these plants only achieved a low level of evidence for their efficacy, because only a few high quality clinical studies have been performed  During the last years the therapeutic potential of medical plants traditionally used in dermatology has been explored, and some of them have been developed and approved as drug or medical device for the treatment of skin disorders, e.g. for atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and wound healing.
2. Atopic Dermatitis
2.1. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum (L.))
2.2. Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra (L.))
2.3. Tormentil (Potentilla erecta (L.))
2.4. Bitter substances
2.5. Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis (L.))
3. Psoriasis Vulgaris
3.1. Araroba Tree (Vataireopsis araroba (Aguiar) Ducke)
3.2. Lace Flower (Ammi majus(L.) and Ammi visnaga (L.))
3.3. Barberry Bark (Mahonia aquifolium (Pursh) Nutt.)
3.4. Indigo (Baphicacanthus cusia, Brem.)
3.5. Turmeric (Curcuma longa (L.))
3.6. Olibanum (Boswellia Serrata, Triana & Planch.)
3.7. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum (L.))
4. Wound healing
Wound healing is a natural physiological response to tissue injury and involves a complex interplay between numerous cell types (keratinocytes, fibroblasts and immune cells), cytokines and the vascular system to stop bleeding, kill bacteria and initiate re-epithelialization. Most herbal remedies traditionally used for wound healing have not been investigated in controlled clinical studies . In contrast, the wound-healing properties of a betulin rich extract from the bark of white birches have been thoroughly investigated. This extract allows the production of a solid phase stabilized emulsion without conventional emulsifiers or preservatives and will be described in more detail.
4.1 Birch bark (Betula spp.)
The wound healing properties of betulin have been elucidated at the molecular level and positively affects all 3 phases of wound healing (inflammatory phase as well as migration and differentiation phase of keratinocytes) . First clinical evidence for the wound healing properties of betulin were achieved in a split thickness wound study with topical application of a water free betulin oleogel .
4.2 Onion (Allium cepa L.)
A systematic review published in 2017 on anti-scarring agents mentions many positive outcomes in scarring management with onion extract .
Botanical compounds such as salicylic acid, methoxsalen and chrysarobin have been traditionally used and still play an important role in the treatment of psoriasis. Recently, the alkaloid indirubin from indigo has been shown to be effective in psoriasis in randomized clinical trials. Glycyrrhetinic acid and licochalcone A from licorice have been shown to be effective in the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Only recently, betulin-oleogel obtained from birch bark has been approved as a drug for the topical treatment of superficial wounds and burns. These examples illustrate that botanical compounds and extracts have a great potential to be developed as prescription or over the counter drugs in dermatology.
The entry is from 10.3390/biomedicines8020027
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