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A Noxious Weed Found To Protect Skin, Speed Wound Healing And Ward Off Wrinkles

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Anti-aging breakthrough: This Fruit Has the Potential to Protect Your Skin, Speed Wound Healing and Ward Off Wrinkles, According to New Research

New research has revealed the potential of an invasive weed to combat aging. Cocklebur extracts have been found to contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components that may protect skin and speed up the healing of wounds.

In laboratory tests, compounds found in the fruit of the cocklebur plant were found to reduce damage caused by UVB exposure and boost the production of collagen, which helps to maintain the skin’s elasticity and prevent wrinkles.

Despite being considered a noxious weed, the cocklebur plant could prove to be a valuable ingredient in skin-protectant products.

According to Eunsu Song, a doctoral candidate at Myongji University in South Korea, who conducted the research with Myongji University Professor Jinah Hwang, “cocklebur fruit has the potential to protect the skin and help enhance the production of collagen.”

As such, the fruit could become a desirable ingredient for use in creams or other cosmetic products. Additionally, Song suggests that when combined with other potent compounds, like hyaluronic acid or retinoic acid, it could demonstrate a synergistic effect in combating aging.

Song presented the new study at Discover BMB, the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Cocklebur, an invasive plant native to Southern Europe, Central Asia, and China, has spread globally and is often found in damp or sandy areas such as riverbanks and roadside ditches. The plant’s distinctive fruit, covered in burrs and stiff husks, has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat various conditions, including headaches, stuffy nose, disorders of skin pigmentation, tuberculosis-related illness, and rheumatoid arthritis. Recently, researchers have explored the potential of cocklebur for treating rheumatoid arthritis and cancer.

The latest study is the first to investigate the wound-healing and skin-protecting properties of the fruit. Researchers analyzed the molecular properties of extracts from the fruit and identified particular compounds that could contribute to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. They then employed cell cultures and a 3D tissue model with properties comparable to human skin to examine how these compounds affect collagen production, wound healing, and damage from UVB radiation.

The study’s findings indicate that extracts from the cocklebur fruit accelerate wound healing, encourage collagen production, and provide protection against UVB radiation. When comparing the bioactivity of cocklebur fruits grown in distinct locations, researchers discovered that those grown in South Korea had slightly stronger anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as a greater wound-healing activity than those grown in China.

Despite these promising results, researchers warn that excessive doses of cocklebur fruit extract can be dangerous, and additional research is required to determine how to use it safely in cosmetic or pharmaceutical applications.

According to Song, the cocklebur fruit contains a toxic component, carboxyatractyloside, in its burrs, which can cause liver damage. While the fruit has demonstrated the potential to increase collagen synthesis and serve as a cosmetic agent, it produced unfavorable outcomes at higher concentrations. As a result, it is crucial to identify the appropriate concentration to commercialize cocklebur fruit extracts safely in cosmetic products.

The researchers intend to progress with their investigations by delving further into the biological mechanisms at work and performing animal alternative experiments. These efforts are aimed at identifying safe methods of adapting cocklebur fruit extracts for use in cosmetic products.

Image Credit: Getty

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