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Skin forms an important part of human innate immune system. Wrinkles, thinning and roughening of skin are some of the symptoms that affect the skin as it ages. Reactive oxygen species induced oxidative stress plays a major role in skin aging by modulating the elastase enzyme level in the skin. Extrinsic factors that affect skin aging such as UV radiation can also cause malignant melanoma. Here we selected four medicinal plant materials, namely, leaves of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis, unripe and ripe Aegle marmelos fruit pulp and the terminal meristem of Musa paradisiaca flower and investigated their anti-aging properties and cytotoxicity in vitro individually as well as in a poly herbal formulation containing the four plant extracts in different ratios.
The phytochemical contents of the plant extracts were investigated for radical scavenging activity and total reducing power. Based upon its anti-oxidant properties, a poly herbal formulation containing leaves of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis, unripe and ripe fruit pulp of Aegle marmelos, and the terminal meristem of Musa paradisiaca flower in the ratio 6:2:1:1 (Poly Herbal Formulation 1) and 1:1:1:1 (Poly Herbal Formulation 2), respectively were formulated.
It has been observed that the Poly Herbal Formulation 1 was more potent than Poly Herbal Formulation 2 due to better anti-oxidant and anti-elastase activities in NIH3T3 fibroblast cells. In addition Poly Herbal formulation 1 also had better anti-cancer activity in human malignant melanoma cells.
Based on these results these beneficial plant extracts were identified for its potential application as an anti-aging agent in skin creams as well as an anti-proliferation compound against cancer cells.