GINGKO (Ginkgo biloba)
Botany: Ginkgo biloba, also known as Maidenhair tree, is a member of the Ginkgoaceae family. It is a monotypic deciduous tree growing up to 40 m. Leaves alternate or are borne on spurs in clusters of 3 5. They are parallel veined, broad fan-shaped, and up to 12 cm, with notch at apex, forming two distinct lobes. Ginkgos are dioecious (some trees being female and others being male). Male flowers grow on pendulous catkins with numerous, loosely arranged anthers in stalked pairs on a slender axis. Female flowers are in pairs on long foot-stalks. The drupe-like fruits have an acrid, foul-smelling pulp surrounding a single smooth, oval, thin-shelled, semi-edible nut (seed).
History and/or folklore: Ginkgo is known only from cultivation; it is a widely planted ornamental tree worldwide. The leaves are used in Western pharmaceutical products, while seeds and leaves are traditionally used in China. Leaves are grown on a commercial scale in China, South Carolina and Maryland in USA, and in the Bordeaux region in France.
Biochemistry: Folium Ginkgo consists of the dried whole leaf of Ginkgo biloba. It contains a wide variety of phytochemicals, including alkanes, lipids, sterols, benzenoids, carotenoids, phenylpropanoids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, and terpenoids. The major constituents are flavonoids of which mono-, di-, and tri-glycosides and coumaric acid esters that are based on the dominant flavonols, kaempferol and quercetin. Characteristic constituents of this plant material are the unique diterpene lactones, ginkgolides A, B, C, J, and M, and the sesquiterpene lactone, bilobalide.
Ginkgo biloba botanical extract
Traditional use: Long revered in traditional Chinese herbal medicine, ginkgo is now known to have important effects in the treatment of age-related disorders and circulatory problems (healthy circulation is important for the prevention and reduction of cellulite).
Leaf extracts are used in cosmetics including shampoos, creams, and lotions.
Allergic skin reactions are possible adverse effects.
Not assessed for safety in cosmetics by industry panel.
GRAPE (Varieties of Vitis vinifera L.)
Botany: Vitis vinifera (common grape vine) is a species of Vitis. The wild grape is often classified as V. vinifera subsp. sylvestris (in some classifications considered Vitis sylvestris), with V. vinifera subsp. vinifera restricted to cultivated forms. It is a liana growing to 35 m tall, with flaky bark. The leaves are alternate, palmately lobed, 5–20 cm long and broad. Domesticated vines have hermaphrodite flowers, but subsp. sylvestris is dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants) and pollination is required for fruit to develop. The plant is native to the Mediterranean region, central Europe, and south-western Asia, from Morocco and Portugal north to southern Germany and east to northern Iran.
The fruit is a berry, known as a grape that grows in clusters of 15 to 300 berries. Grapes are typically an ellipsoid shape resembling a prolate spheroid. In the wild species, the grape is 6 mm diameter and ripens dark purple to blackish with a pale wax bloom; in cultivated plants it is usually much larger, up to 3 cm long, and can be crimson, black, dark blue, yellow, green, orange, and pink. "White" grapes are actually green in colour, and are evolutionarily derived from the purple grape. Mutations in two regulatory genes of white grapes turn off production of anthocyanins which are responsible for the colour of purple grapes. Anthocyanins and other pigment chemicals of the larger family of polyphenols in purple grapes are responsible for the varying shades of purple in red wines.
Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, wine, raisins, vinegar, grape seed oil, grape seed extracts, and grape skin extract.
History and/or Folklore: Grapes appear to have originated in the Mediterranean regions of southern Europe and Middle East. Going back thousands of years, the grape was a wild vine. Species were created through natural selection, resulting in mutations of the vine. Cultivation of the grape occurred in pre-historic or early historic times in southwest Asia or southern Transcaucasia (Armenia and Georgia), and cultivation of the domesticated grape, Vitis vinifera, spread to other parts of the Old World over the years. Wine is the fermented juice of grapes, and it has been used in various cultures for at least 4,500 years, originating most likely in the Middle East. Egyptian records, dating from 2500 BC, refer to wines, and there are frequent references to wine in the Old Testament. Wine was also used by early Minoan, Greek and Etruscan civilizations, and we can thank the Roman army for introducing the rootstocks and winemaking throughout Europe as they created an expanding Roman Empire. Centuries later, the role of wine for sacramental use in Christian churches helped to maintain the industry after the fall of the Roman Empire.
Commercial products: Grape skin extract (enocianina) is the colouring matter derived from the skin of certain varieties of the wine grape. It is commonly obtained by acidic aqueous extraction of fermented grape skin after the juice has been expressed from it.
Grape skin extract contains pigment-anthocyanins also called anthocyanidins (peonidin, malvidin, delphinidin, petunidin etc.), plant acids (mainly tartaric), tannins, polyphenols (resveratrol), sugars, amino acids, and minerals.
Grape skin extract has detoxifying, strong antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, cardio-protective, neuro-protective, cell regenerating and anti-cancer effects.
Polyphenols are antioxidants and free radical scavengers. Resveratrol (cis and trans) is a natural antioxidant, polyphenol phytoalexin that some plants produce for protection against pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Resveratrol may also have alexin-like activity for humans. The tannins act as astringents that firm micro-capillary vessels and have strong “vitamin P” activities. Vitamin P, usually called bioflavonoids, improves capillary strength, lowers blood pressure, includes anti-inflammatory properties and might induce mechanisms that affect cancer cells and inhibit tumour invasion. Anthocyanins also have topically antiviral properties; they are used as pH indicators and natural pigments.
The product should not be used on damaged skin (inflammation of the skin), around the eyes or on mucous membranes.
If there is inflammation of the skin, thrombophlebitis or subcutaneous induration, severe pain, ulcers, sudden swelling of one or both legs, cardiac or renal insufficiency, a doctor should be consulted.
GINGER (Zingiber officinale Roscoe)
Botany: An erect perennial herb with thick tuberous rhizomes (underground stems) from which the aerial stem grows to about 1 m high, rarely flowers and produces seeds. It is native to southern Asia (India, China and Java). It is extensively cultivated in the tropics (e.g. India, China, Jamaica, Haiti, Philippines, Tahiti and Nigeria).
The part used is the pungent rhizome, commonly called ‘root’, both in fresh and dried forms.
History/Folklore: Ginger is one of the most highly esteemed spices/drugs from ancient times to the Middle Ages. The Greeks imported it from the East Coast centuries before Dioscorides described its medicinal use. Ginger was commercially important in ancient Athens and Rome. The Spanish imported ginger from Jamaica before the 16th century. In the Middle Ages, the Spaniards took it to Central America.
Commercial products: Ginger oil is usually produced from freshly ground, unpeeled dried ginger by steam distillation.
Rhizoma Zingiberis is the dried rhizome of Zingiber officinale Roscoe (Zingiberaceae). The rhizome contains 1–4% essential oil and an oleoresin. The composition of the essential oil varies as a function of geographical origin, but the chief constituent, sesquiterpene hydrocarbons (responsible for the aroma) seem to remain constant. These compounds include (-)-zingiberene, (+)-ar-curcumene, (-)-β-sesquiphellandrene, and β-bisabolene. Monoterpene aldehydes and alcohols are also present.
Ginger oleoresin contains mainly the pungent gingerols and shogaols as well as zingerone. Shogaols and zingerones are dehydration and degradation products, respectively, of gingerols. Shogaols have recently been found to be twice as pungent as gingerols.
Zingiber officinale essential oil
Externally, it is a rubefacient (produces redness of the skin by causing dilation of the capillaries and an increase in blood circulation) and it is used for rheumatic pains and as a stimulant of peripheral circulation in cases of bad circulation, e.g. chilblains and cramps. It is diaphoretic (promotes sweating). Ginger baths decrease muscle soreness and muscle stiffness. Ginger has been used for centuries as a cooking spice and medicinally demonstrates a diverse range of applications having biological properties such as the ability to modulate platelet aggregation, serve as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent, and as an antioxidant.
Ginger oil is used as a fragrance component in cosmetic products, including soaps, detergents, creams, lotions and perfumes (especially oriental and men's fragrances). Maximum use level is 0.4% reported in perfumes.
Zingiber officinale essential oil
Ginger oil is reported to be non-irritating and non-sensitizing in humans, and its low photo-toxicity is not considered significant.
Not assessed for safety in cosmetics by the industry panel.
GINSENG (Panax ginseng)
Panax ginseng is native to China, Eastern Asia and parts of Russia. This plant is also cultivated in temperate regions. Alternate names are oriental ginseng, Chinese ginseng, Asian ginseng, Asiatic ginseng, Chinese Red ginseng, Ginseng, Ginseng Asiatique, Ginseng Radix Alba, Ginseng Root, Guigai, Hong Shen, Japanese ginseng, Jen-Shen, Jinsao, Jintsam, Insam, Korean ginseng, Korean Panax, Korean Panax ginseng, Korean Red ginseng, Korean White ginseng, Ninjin, Radix ginseng Rubra, Red Chinese ginseng, Red ginseng, Red Kirin ginseng, Red Korean ginseng, Red Panax ginseng, Renshen, Renxian, Sheng Shai Shen, White ginseng, and White Panax ginseng.
Botany: Panax ginseng is perennial herb with simple single stems bearing at flowering a whorl of three to six long-petioled compound leaves at the top.
Parts used are dried, often specially treated (cured) roots; normally roots of plants about 6 years old are used.
History and/or folklore: Panax is derived from the Greek word panakos, a “panacea”, in reference to the miraculous virtues ascribed to it by Chinese who consider it a remedy for almost all diseases.
Biochemistry: Several classes of compounds have been isolated from ginseng root. These include triterpene saponins, essential oil-containing polyacetylenes and sesquiterpenes, polysaccharides, peptidoglycans, nitrogen-containing compounds, and various ubiquitous compounds such as fatty acids, carbohydrates, and phenolic compounds.
The chemical constituents of ginseng believed to contribute to its pharmacological effects are the triterpene saponins. These compounds are named ginsenosides Rx according to their mobility on thin-layer chromatography plates, with polarity decreasing from index "a" to "h". So far, 31 ginsenosides have been isolated from the roots of white and red ginseng. They can be categorised into three groups depending on their aglycons: protopanaxadiol-type ginsenosides, protopanaxatriol-type ginsenosides, and oleanolic acid-type.
Panax ginseng Root is a plant material derived from the dried roots of ginseng, Panax ginseng.
Panax ginseng root extract is extract of the root of the ginseng plant.
Panax ginseng root powder and Panax ginseng root water are also ingredients made from the root of the ginseng plant.
Panax ginseng Root, Panax ginseng Root Extract, Panax ginseng Root Powder and Panax ginseng Root Water belong to a large and diverse class of materials that are not defined chemically.
Panax ginseng Root
It is used as emollient, tonic, hair conditioning agent and skin protection agent.
Panax ginseng root extract
It is used as emollient, tonic, hair conditioning agent, skin protecting agent and skin conditioning agent – miscellaneous.
Panax ginseng Root Water
It is used as a fragrance ingredient.
Panax ginseng Root Powder
It is used as a skin conditioning agent– miscellaneous.
In cosmetics and personal care products, these ingredients are used in the formulation of many types of products including bath products, body and hand lotions, skin care products, perfumes, and eye makeup.
Panax ginseng root, Panax ginseng root extract, Panax ginseng root powder and Panax ginseng root water may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Directive of the European Union.
Panax ginseng seems to be safe when used for less than 3 months when used topically, short-term as part of a multi-ingredient preparation (SS Cream). Further evaluation is needed to determine its safety after prolonged, repetitive topical use.
(Topically, Panax ginseng is also used as part of a multi-ingredient preparation for treating premature ejaculation. This preparation seems to be safe when applied and left on the glans penis for one hour.)
GRAPEFRUIT (Citrus x paradise)
Botany: A tropical or subtropical cultivated evergreen rutaceous tree of the genus Citrus, which often grows to more than 10 m high; it is considered to be a relatively recent hybrid of C. Maxima and C. Sinensis. It has leathery evergreen leaves and large, juicy edible fruits having leathery aromatic rinds.
It is cultivated in USA (California, Florida and Texas), the West Indies (Jamaica and Dominican Republic), Nigeria, Brazil, Israel and the Mediterranean (e.g. Portugal). The part used is the fresh peel of the fruit from which grapefruit oil is produced by cold expression.
Products: expressed grapefruit oil, cold-pressed grapefruit oil, and shaddock oil.
Like all citrus oils, grapefruit oil is a source of alpha hydroxy acids (citric acid), antioxidants, fragrant essential oils (grapefruit essential oil contains a-pinene, sabinene, myrcene, limonene, geraniol, linalool, citronellal, decyl acetate, neryl acetate and terpinen-4-ol) and useful astringents. It belongs to oils with the most significant scents and it is widely used in cosmetics and aromatherapy. It is also used in air freshener preparations.
It is astringent with important vitamin properties that improve superficial microcirculation, tones the venous and lymphatic systems, and ensures better tissue drainage. Traditionally said to balance cellular exchanges. Grapefruit oil is a good facial toner; it has cooling, refreshing and stimulating effect on lifeless skin. It is an emollient; it hydrates the skin and gives velvety feel. It has antibacterial and antibiotic effects. It is a great help in the care of oily skin and skin with acne, mostly due to α-hydroxy acids (AHA) used as chemical peels. AHAs have a profound effect on keratinization; formation of a new stratum corneum. It appears that AHAs modulate this formation through diminished cellular cohesion between corneocytes at the lowest levels of the stratum corneum. AHAs with greater bioavailability appear to have deeper dermal effects. Citric acid, on topical application to photo-damaged skin, has been shown to produce increased amounts of mucopolysaccharides and collagen and increased skin thickness without detectable inflammation.
Grapefruit oil can handle swelling and rheumatic pain. When inhaled, grapefruit oil is an antidepressant and helps relieve anxiety. It can be effective treating symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and menopause.
The seeds have been used to produce a natural preservative (naringin).
Dermatological studies have indicated grapefruit oil to be non-irritating, non-sensitising and non-phototoxic to humans. However, certain bergaptens present in grapefruit oils are known to be phototoxic and allergenic to some individuals.
Precaution: do not use during individual intolerance to Ylang-ylang; use diluted, prevent eye contact, and keep out of reach of children. During pregnancy use with caution.
GREEN TEA (Camelia, Camellia sinensis)
Botany: Camelia sinensis is an evergreen shrub or occasionally a tree, much branched; young leaves hairy; up to about 9 m high if free growing, but usually maintained at 1-1.5 m high by regular pruning. Native to the mountainous regions of southern China, India, Japan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and other tropical and subtropical countries; cultivated in United States in the Carolinas. Parts used are dried, cured leaf bud and two adjacent young leaves together with the stem, broken between the second and third leaf bud together which are called "tea flush" and are collected from spring to autumn.
History and/or folklore: Archaeological evidence indicates that tea leaves steeped in boiling water were consumed by Homo erectus pekinensis more than 500,000 years ago. Chinese legend described in the Cha Ching (tea book) around AD 780, attributes tea drinking to one of earliest Chinese herbalists, King Shen Nong, ca. 2700 BC. Indian legend claims that tea was brought to China by Siddhardtha Guatama Buddha during his travels in that country.
Biochemistry: The chemistry of tea is extremely complicated. It contains caffeine, with small amount of other xanthine alkaloids (theobromin, theophyline, dirnethylxanthine, xanthine, adenine, etc.). Part of the caffeine is in bound form. Tea also contains large amounts of tannins or phenolic substances consisting of both catechin (flavanol) and gallic acid units. Other components present in tea include fats; flavonoids (quercetin, quercitrin, rutin, etc.); anthocyanins; amino acids; triterpenoid saponin glycosides (theasaponin, isotheasaponins, and assamsaponins); sterols; vitamin C; flavour and aroma chemicals including theaflavin, thearubigin, l-epicathechingallate, theogallin, theaspirone, dihydroactinidiolide, dimethyl sulphide, ionones, damasconones, jasmine, furfuryl alcohol, geranial, trans-hexen-2-al, and others, totalling over 300 compounds; proteins; polysaccharides; pigments (carotenoids); and others
Products: Camellia sinensis botanical extract and fixed (non-volatile) oil
The common tea bag is used as a wash for sunburn, as a poultice for baggy eyes, and as a compress for headache or tired eyes. In India the leaf juice is used as a topical haemostatic agent for cuts and injuries.
Traditional use: in the traditional medicine of India, green tea is recorded as a mild excitant, stimulant, diuretic and astringent, and the leaf-infusion (tea) was formerly used to remedy fungal infections caused by insects. It has antioxidant properties.
Camellia sinensis botanical extract:
A 100% natural, standardised, high purity green tea extract with excellent antioxidant efficacy supported by high total polyphenol (> 72%) and high epigallocatechin gallate and no added caffeine. A potent anti-oxidant (scavenger of harmful free radicals). Anti-aging skin benefits through collagenase inhibition and anti-inflammatory activity.
Camellia sinensis leaf oil
Antioxidant; Skin-conditioning agent.
Recommended restricted use and concentration in cosmetics. Fragrance safe only within recommended use or concentration limits.
Not assessed for safety in cosmetics by industry panel.
GERMAN CAMOMILE (Matricaria chamomilla recutita L., Chamomilla recutita)
Names: German chamomile, also spelled camomile, wild chamomile, Hungarian chamomile, pineapple weed.
Botany: Fragrant, low annual herb, with ligulate flower heads about 2 cm broad; the plant grows up to 0.6 m high. It is native to Europe and northern and western Asia, and is naturalised in North America. It is extensively cultivated, particularly in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Greece, Argentina and Egypt.
The parts used are dried flower heads.
History and/or folklore: German camomile was used since ancient times in treating skin problems such as dermatitis, boils, acne, rashes, and eczema as well as hair care, burns, cuts, and inflammation (inflamed joints). It was also used against cancer. A compress containing the infusion was traditionally applied to treat eye strain and to clean the eyes and face of babies.
Biochemistry: German camomile contains variable amounts of volatile oil (0.24-1.9%), flavonoids (apigenin, apigetrin, quercetin, rutin, and luteolin, etc.), coumarins, proazulens (matricin, matricarin, etc.), triterpene alcohols, sterols, sesquiterpenes, plant acids, tannins, water-soluble polysaccharides, choline, amino acids, and others.
Matricaria chamomilla botanical extract and essential oil. Components of camomile oil have bactericidal, fungicidal, pain-relieving, wound-healing, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Azulene is a prime component of the essential oil of chamomile flowers. Products containing azulene generally also contain the other characteristics components of camomile’s essential oil. Azulene extracts are used in skin creams for reducing skin puffiness and wrinkles, and are also known for anti-irritant and vulnerary properties.
Matricaria chamomilla botanical extract and essential oil
Used in antiseptic ointments, creams and gels to treat cracked nipples, sore gums, inflammations, irritation of the skin and mucosa, and for healing wounds.
Oils are used as fragrance components or active ingredients in soaps, detergents, creams, lotions and perfumes. They are used in shampoo to lighten blond hair.
Allergic contact dermatitis in people sensitized to certain sesquiterpene lactones or who are already allergic to ragweed. Allergenicity is due to low variable levels of the highly allergenic sequiterpene lactone, anthecotulid. Bisabolol oxide chemo type B of chamomile plants has evident moderate allergenic potential. Otherwise, the oil did not show irritating or sensitizing effects on human skin.
Not assessed for safety in cosmetics by the industry panel.
Products: Glycerine, also known as glycerol or glycerin, is a colourless and odourless moisturizing agent, typically supplied at 86% or 99% active level. It is present in all natural lipids (fats). Traditionally, glycerine is obtained by saponification of triglyceride oils (derived from animal or vegetable sources) in soap manufacturing.
Whether natural or synthetic, glycerine is a humectant and extremely hygroscopic, meaning it readily absorbs water from other sources. In part, glycerine works because of its ability to attract water from the environment and from the lower layers of skin (dermis) increasing the amount of water in the surface layers of skin. Another aspect of the benefit of glycerine is that it is a skin-identical ingredient, meaning that it is a substance found naturally in skin. In that respect it is one of the many substances in skin that help maintain the outer barrier and prevent dryness or scaling.
Dermosoft ® 1388 (containing aqua, glycerine, sodium levulinate, and sodium anisate) is a combination of fragrances of natural origin with a mild inherent odour and bio-stabilizing properties. It is useful for stabilizing surfactant products as well as emulsions and can be used in cold processing.
Glycerine is a unique and versatile chemical with numerous applications. After water, glycerine is the most common ingredient employed in the formulation of cosmetics, personal care products and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
Glycerine combined with other emollients and/or oils is a fundamental cornerstone of most moisturizers. Glycerine is also a natural preservative.
When properly formulated, glycerine strengthens the skin’s natural protection by filling in the area known as the intercellular matrix and by attracting just the right amount of water to maintain the skin’s homeostasis. There is also research indicating that the presence of glycerine in the intercellular layer helps other skin lipids do their jobs better (Sources: American Journal of Contact Dermatitis, September 2000, pages 165–169; and Acta Dermato-Venereologica, November 1999, pages 418–421).
High levels of vegetable glycerine, up to 15-20%, will have a preservative effect, similar to that effect obtained by the use of high levels of sugar. There is a downside to these high levels which is increased stickiness.
Glycerine’s long history of use and outstanding safety profile make it one of the most trusted chemicals in the industry. In Europe, glycerine derived from natural sources is listed as exempt from the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) in Annex V, and in the USA, the FDA recognises glycerine as ‘Generally Regarded As Safe’ (GRAS).
Humectants such as glycerine have always raised the question as to whether or not they take too much water from skin. Pure glycerine (100% concentration) on skin is not helpful and can actually dry the skin and cause blisters if left on too long. So a major drawback of any humectant (including glycerine) when used in pure form is that they can increase water loss by attracting water from the lower layers of skin (dermis) into the surface layers of skin (epidermis) where the water can easily be lost into the environment. For this reason, glycerine and humectants in general are always combined with other ingredients to soften the skin (Source: Skin Therapy Letter, February 2005, pages 1-8).