More widely used as an herbal medicine in China, Japan, and Korea, zhi mu, or Anemarrhena asphodeloides root extract (AARE), is recognised as a cosmetic ingredient by Korean and international standards.
But researchers from Daejeon Health Institute of Technology, Cosmeceutical Science Institute, and Chungwoon University had wanted to put to test previous studies done on the benefits associated with nyasol in A. asphodeloides, producing “excellent skin-whitening, anti-inflammatory, and anti-atopic effects.”
Published in the Cosmetics journal, the findings elicited that nyasol prepared in 95% ethanol produced a skin-whitening effect and this is explained by the reduction of melanin production.
“The AARE solutions with concentrations of 4–12 μg/mL exhibited more than 95.0% cell viability. All further experiments were performed with AARE concentrations below 12 μg/mL, as it was confirmed that such concentrations had no significant effect on cell viability.”
This was accompanied by anti-wrinkling effects that is explained by inhibiting the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) – a protein that is primarily responsible for fragmenting the skin collagen.
“When 0.0625–0.5 ug/mL nyasol was added to TNF-_-treated HDF cells (50 ng/mL), the expression was suppressed in a concentration-dependent manner. In particular, a significant decrease in the MMP-1 protein expression was observed at concentrations of 0.5 ug/mL (down to 68.3% expression).”
Aside from testing for its benefits via DPPH free radical scavenging activity tests, the researchers wanted to validate the safety of AARE through in-vitro investigations, which confirmed that “nyasol is the main ingredient in AARE and that it could be used safely in minute amounts in cosmetics for its skin benefits.”
“The quantity of nyasol in the product containing 2% AARE was confirmed to be more than 90% of the nominal quantity, with a recovery rate of 96%. The proposed analytical procedure should contribute to better quality control of cosmetic products containing AARE,” the paper reported.
The research was funded by Daejeon Health Institute of Technology.
B16F10 mouse melanoma cells from the Korean Cell Line Bank in Seoul, South Korea, were used to test the performance of nyasol.
Nyasol concentrations of 100, 50, 25, 12.50 and 6.25 μg/mL were prepared with ethanol for testing.
Measurements taken include the extent of damage on the cells, concentration of melanin content, and MMP-1 protein expression among others.
“The findings suggested that the nyasol molecule, which is safe in small quantities, is responsible for the extract’s beneficial effects on the skin, making it a valuable addition to the field of cosmeceuticals.
“The MMP-1 inhibitory activities of nyasol and this extract were studied to confirm the possibility of using AARE as a cosmetic raw material for wrinkle reduction. Both the AARE and nyasol standard inhibited the production of MMP-1, suggesting a wrinkle-reducing effect. In addition to the known skin-whitening effect of AARE, the antioxidant effect of AARE was confirmed by DPPH free radical scavenging activity tests,” the researchers concluded.
“The Assessment of the Skin-Whitening and Anti-Wrinkling Effects of Anemarrhena asphodeloides Bunge Root Extracts and the Identification of Nyasol in a Developed Cream Product”
Authors: Myoung, H.L. et al.