Sestavine
A B C Č D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S Š T U V Z Ž Vse
SWEET ALMOND (Prunus amygdalus dulcis)

DESCRIPTION:

Botany: Almonds belong to the family of roses (Rosaceae) and is relative to cherries, peaches, apricots and roses. It grows to a height of about 7 m and has several varieties – two of them yield sweet and bitter almonds.  The tree is native to western Asia and is now extensively cultivated in the Mediterranean countries and in California. 
 
The fruit is botanically classified as a drupe (the same as peach or plum), but its outer portion is leathery, dry, green, bitter and inedible.  The almond is its seed.
 
History and/or Folklore: Almond is one of the oldest cultivated fruits in our civilization.  Almonds were known in the Stone Age, and their cultivation dates back to the Bronze Age.  References to the almond are found in Greek mythology, the Bible, and in Shakespeare.  In the Middle Ages, almonds were commercially important.  In traditional Chinese medicine, sweet almond oil (Prunus amygdalinas dulcis oleum) is recommended for strengthening the lungs (which are associated with the skin).  Sweet almond oil has been used as a folk cancer remedy for bladder, breast, mouth, spleen, and uterine cancers, amongst others.
 
Commercial products: Two major types of products are derived from the almond, namely a fixed (non-volatile) oil and a volatile oil.  Sweet almond does not yield a volatile oil.  The fixed oil is commonly called almond oil, expressed almond oil, or sweet almond oil.  It is made from both sweet and bitter almonds by pressing the kernels.  It does not contain benzaldehyde or hydrocyanic acid.  The volatile oil is called bitter almond oil.  It is obtained by water maceration and subsequent steam distillation of the expressed and partially deoleated bitter almonds, or kernels of other species that contain amygdalin.  
 
Sweet almonds are also used as a food (bitter almonds cannot be used in food).
 
USES:

 

Sweet almond oil 
In cosmetics, expressed almond oil is used as an emollient, moisturizer, demulcent, emulsifier for chapped hands, in lotions (both moisturizing and night skin care preparations), suntan gels, blushers, makeup bases, skin cleansing preparations, and creams, and as an ointment base. The oil makes a film on the skin and slowly absorbs through the skin (for that reason it is widely used for massage oils).  It has also an anti-wrinkle effect.  It is used in cosmetic formulations in concentrations up to 50% and in lipstick formulations at 25%.
 
Almond blossom extract and sweet almond oil has demulcent and nutrient properties and is used as a skin cleanser and nutrient in face scrubs and masks to eliminate blemishes and blackheads and to enlarge pores from a neglected complexion. 
 
Almond emulsions have, to a certain degree, the emollient qualities of the oil and have the advantage over the pure oil that they may be used with acute or inflammatory disorders.
 
Almond meal (made from ground sweet almonds); almond meal can be made both with whole or blanched (no skin) almonds) and sweet almond oil and is used as a skin cleanser and nutrient in face scrubs and also in medical soaps.
 

TOXICOLOGY:
Almond oil and almond meal are non-irritating and non-sensitising to the skin and are considered safe for cosmetic use.  
 
Sweet almond can be eaten safely, contrary to bitter almond oil, which is toxic since it contains amygdalin (amygdalin is hydrolysed to yield glucose, benzaldehyde (ingestion of 50-60 ml can be fatal due to central nervous depression with respiratory failure) and hydrocyanic acid (poisonous; and fatal to an adult after taking 7.5 ml orally). 
 
Contraindications: allergy to almonds or its products.

 

SHEA BUTTER (Vitellaria paradoxa (previously Butyrospermum parkii))

DESCRIPTION:


Alternate names are butter, butyrospermum parkii butter, karite butter, shea butter fruit; beurre de karate.
 
Botany: Shea butter is a vegetable fat (rich buttery oil) obtained from the nut of a tree native to Africa (central Africa), Vitellaria paradoxa (previously Butyrospermum parkii, and also known as shea tree, shi tree, or vitellaria). Shea trees grow naturally on the lateral slopes of the savannah zones of West Africa and throughout that continent`s equatorial region (where rainfall is not too high) and also in parts of southern Sudan.
 
History and/or folklore: In Africa, the fat (shea butter) is used as an ointment for rheumatic pains and boils. A decoction from the bark is used to facilitate child birth and ease labour pains.  The leaf extract is dispensed for headaches and as an eye bath.
 
Product: Shea butter is a complex fat that contains many unsaponifiable components and fatty acids (oleic, stearic, linoleic, palmitic, linolenic and arachidic acid).  It has natural antioxidant properties and is said to contain a small quantity of allantoin that is renowned for its healing qualities. It has good skin absorption properties, is skin moisturizing and improves skin suppleness.  The literature describes shea butter as having a slight UV-protective effect.
 

USES:


Skin-Conditioning Agent; occlusive; viscosity increasing agent.
 
Shea butter
It is an effective skin emollient and skin smoother.  It is used for the protection and care of skin cracked and dehydrated by the elements.  It is said to protect the skin against the sun rays (the pure material has an SPF value of 3).
Shea butter is a suitable base for topical medicines. Its application relieves rheumatic and joint pains and heals wounds, swellings, dermatitis, bruises and other skin problems.  It is used traditionally to relieve inflammation of the nostrils. 
 

TOXICOLOGY:


Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful.
 
Not suspected to be an environmental toxin.
SUGAR (CANE SUGAR, Saccharum officinarum)

DESCRIPTION:

Botany: Saccharum officinarum, cane sugar, is a perennial grass in the family Poaceae. It is cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical regions for the sucrose that is found in its stems.  It requires a frost-free climate with sufficient rainfall during the growing season to make full use of the plant's great growth potential.
 
History and/or folklore: In Hawaii, young shoots of cane sugar were used for lacerations and cuts.  Along with other plants and salt, the shoots were wrapped in it leaves and baked over charcoal.  The juice was then squeezed and placed on a cut.  In the East Indies, the natives prepare a sort of sugar from the juice of various species of palm; the juice is called toddy and when fermented is used as an intoxicating liquor.  The sugar is called Jaggery and is supposed by the native practitioners to possess considerable medicinal virtues.  In Samoa, the leaf ash is used to treat sore eyes.
 
Products:
Saccharum officinarum, Cane sugar botanical extract:
The crop is harvested mechanically or by hand, chopped into lengths and conveyed rapidly to the processing plant.  Here it is either milled and the juice extracted with water or the sugar is extracted by diffusion.  The juice is then clarified with lime and heated to kill enzymes.  The resulting thin syrup is then concentrated in a series of evaporators and further water is removed by evaporation under vacuum.  The resulting supersaturated solution is seeded with sugar crystals and the sugar crystallizes out and is separated from the fluid and dried. Molasses is a by-product of the process and the fibre from the stems, known as bagasse, is burned to provide energy for the boiling of the syrup. The crystals of raw sugar have a sticky brown coating.
 
Sugar is the generalised name for a class of sweet-flavoured substances. They are carbohydrates.  There are various types of sugar derived from different sources. 
 
USES:
Sugar – as natural preservative
High levels of sugar can preserve against spoilage organisms.
 
Saccharum officinarum, Cane sugar botanical extract
Traditional use: moisturizing and regenerating products, body and hand products, and after-sun products.
 
TOXICOLOGY:
Not assessed for safety in cosmetics by the industry panel.
SUNFLOWER (Helianthus annuus)

DESCRIPTION:

Alternate names are common sunflower, Kansas sunflower, and mirasol. Helianthus comes from the Greek helios anthos, meaning “sun flower” (Kindscher 1987).
 
Botany: The sunflower is an erect, coarse, tap-rooted annual with rough-hairy stems 6-30 dm tall. The leaves are mostly alternate, egg-shaped to triangular, and entire or toothed.  The flower heads are 7.5 -15 cm wide and at the ends of branches.  Ray flowers are yellow and disk flowers are reddish-brown. 
 
History and/or folklore: Charles H. Lange, an anthropologist at the University of Texas, wrote that “among the Cochiti, a reliable “home remedy‟ for cuts and other wounds is the juice of freshly crushed sunflower stems.  The juice is smeared liberally over the wounds, bandaged, and invariably results in a speedy recovery, with never a case of infection” (Heiser 1976).
 
The Gros Ventres, Rees, and Mandan used sunflowers ceremonially; oil from the seeds was used to lubricate or paint the face and body.  The Hopi used the sunflower plant as a “spider medicine” and dermatological aid.  The Thompson Indians used powdered sunflower leaves alone or in an ointment on sores and swellings. 
 
Biochemistry: Sunflower oil is mainly triglycerides (fats), typically derived from the fatty acids linoleic acid (with is doubly unsaturated) and oleic acid.  It also contains lecithin, tocopherols, carotenoids and waxes.  Sunflower oil's properties are typical of a vegetable triglyceride oil.  Sunflower oil is light in taste and appearance and has a high Vitamin E content.
 
Products:
Helianthus annuus fixed oil.  Sunflower oil is produced from oil type sunflower seeds.
 
USES:
Helianthus annuus fixed oil
The oil is soothing protective emollient.
 
Traditional use:  A simple yet cost-effective emollient oil, well tried and tested for generations in a wide variety of emulsions formulated for face and body products.  Tocopherol, or Vitamin E, is an important vitamin and natural antioxidant.
 
The oil has a similar performance to olive oil and almond oil but is significantly cheaper.  It is used in salves, plasters and liniments for rheumatic pain.  It is used externally on cuts and bruises.  
 
The dried flower heads have anti-inflammatory properties.  Externally it may be used in the same way as tincture of arnica, on bruises and wounds.

TOXICOLOGY:
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) pollen sensitization has been reported as an occupational allergy. Helianthus pollen should be considered as an allergenic source to be investigated in the general population living in sunflower-growing regions suffering from seasonal summer allergy.
 
Not assessed for safety in cosmetics by the industry panel.
SOYA (Glycine max)

DESCRIPTION:

Names: soya bean, soybean
 
Botany: An erect bushy annual, clad in red-grey hairs, with trifoliate leaves, 4-10cm long. Small, white or mauve, pea flowers appear in clusters of 3-15 m the axils in summer, followed by yellow-brown to grey, brown, or almost black pods, 3-7 cm long, containing 1-5 yellow, green, brown, black, or mottled seeds according to cultivar. Native to E Asia.
 
The parts used are seeds (beans). 
 
History and/or folklore: This plant has been known and used by the Chinese for more than 4,000 years, though today most of the oil comes from the United States. 
 
Biochemistry: Soybean is listed as a major starting material for stigmasterol, once known as an anti-stiffness factor.  Stigmasterol is a plant sterol and has powerful skin properties including reduction in skin erythema (skin redness), reduction of pruritis (skin itching) and reduction in inflammation. 
 
Products:
Glycine max botanical extract
Glycine max fixed oil
 
USES:
Glycine max botanical extract
Traditional use: A decoction of the root is said to be astringent.
 
 
Glycine max. Soybean Fixed oil
Traditional use: This oil is a cost-effective base on which to prepare hair and body products where good moisturization is required at a budget price.  This oil is one of the lightest and silkiest when applied to the skin and lacks the greasiness of many vegetable oils.
 
It has a natural SPF of 10.
 
TOXICOLOGY:
Not assessed for safety in cosmetics by the industry panel.
SALVIA LEAF (Sage (Salvia officinalis)/Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia))

DESCRIPTION:

Botany: Salvia officinalis is a small, evergreen shrubby perennial with woody stems near the base and herbaceous ones above, much branched.  It grows up to about 0.8 m high.  It is native to Mediterranean region, and cultivated worldwide.  The part used is the leaf.
 
Salvia lavandulaefolia grows wild in Spain and south-western France.  The part used is the leaf.
 
The Latin name salvia comes from the Latin word salvare meaning “to save.”
 
Products: Sage (S. officinalis) contains 1,0-2,8% volatile oil, quinine- and abietane-type diterpenes, flavonoids, phenolic acid (rosmarinic, labiatic, caffeic, hydroxycinnamic) and phenolic glycosides of caffeic and benzoic acid, and trace amounts of chlorogenic acid, anthraquinones, salviatannin, and others.
 
Sitosterol
Sage is one of major plants that contain the plant sterol, β-sitosterol. It has powerful skin properties including the reduction in skin erythema (skin redness), the reduction of pruritis (skin itching) and the reduction in inflammation.
 
Stigmasterol
Stigmasterol is closely related phytosterol and is also found in sage.  It has similar properties to sitosterol.
 
Salvia officinalis botanical extract
Extract from the leaves of sage, Salvia officinalis. Sage was shown to possess a strong anti-oxidative efficiency comparable to rosemary.  Sage leaf extracts exhibit strong antioxidant activity, largely attributable to various phenolic constituents including phenolic diterpenes, such as carnosol and hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, notably rosmarinic acid.
 
Sage oil and Spanish sage oil are obtained by steam distillation of dried leaves from Salvia officinalis and Salvia lavandulae folia respectively.  The oils contain α- and β-thujones as the main components. Other components present include cineole, borneole, viridiflorol, 1,8 cineole, camphor, limonene, and others.
 
USES:
Sage reportedly has antibacterial, fungistatic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, secretion-stimulating and perspiration-inhibiting effects.  Phenolic acids isolated from sage have antimicrobial activities. Spanish sage oil has also been reported to have antimicrobial properties.
 

 

Salvia officinalis botanical extract
Sage extract has strong antioxidant activities. It is used as a lotion or compress for wounds, dandruff and hair loss.  It is useful in baths to treat skin problems. It soothes the mucous membrane, and is good for inflammation of the mouth, or inflamed and bleeding gums.  It makes a good mouthwash.
 
Salvia officinalis essential oil
The oil has been used in Europe for skin conditions such as eczema, acne, dandruff, and hair loss. It has been recognised for its benefits in relieving mental fatigue. The aromatherapy benefits are said to be uplifting and relaxing.  There are many different sages and each have a unique aroma.
 
Both sage oil and Spanish sage oil are used (the former much more extensively) as fragrance components in soaps, detergents, creams, lotions, and perfumes. Spanish sage oil is generally more commonly used in soaps, detergents, and industrial fragrances.
 
TOXICOLOGY: 
Spanish sage oil was non-irritating and non-sensitising to human skin and skin of laboratory animals. It was also non phototoxic on mice and swine.
 
Dalmatian sage oil has been reported to be non-irritating and non-sensitising to human skin when tested in diluted form. When applied undiluted, it produced one irritation reaction in 20 subjects and was moderately irritating to rabbits.

 

STARFLOWER, BORAGE (Borago officinalis)

 

DESCRIPTION:
The derivation of the generic name, Borago, is unknown but it probably derives from the Medieval Latin, borra or burra, meaning “rough hair” and referring to the prickly stems and leaves. Linnaeus stated that the name was a corruption of corago (Latin cor, the heart, and ago, to act) from its use in medicine as a heart sedative.
 
Botany: Starflower is bristly annual herb with upright hollow stems and lanceolate leaves, growing to 15cm long. Blue, five-petalled flowers, 1 cm across, appear in summer, followed by tiny, brown-black seeds.  Plants may appear with variegated foliage. Starflower germinates quickly from direct-sown seed in spring and grows rapidly up to about 70cm. 
 
It originated in Syria but is naturalized throughout the Mediterranean region, as well as Asia Minor, Europe, North Africa, and South America.
 
History and/or folklore: Common names include bugloss, common bugloss, and burrage.  It is said to derive its name from a Celtic word meaning “a man of courage”. Traditionally starflower is added to drinks and salads to provide a refreshing and invigorating tonic. The first century Roman Pliny called it Euphrosinum because it “made the man merry and joyful”.  He claimed that borage steeped in wine was the famous “Nepethe” of Homer, which brought absolute forgiveness when drunk. 
 
Products: 
Borago officinallis botanical extract is an extract of the borage herb.
 
Borago officinalis leaf extract is the extract of the leaves of Borago officinalis. Leaves of the starflower are gathered in spring and summer, as the plant starts to flower, and are used fresh, or dried for use in infusions and liquid extracts.
 
Borago officinalis fixed oil is extracted from the seeds of Borago officinalis.  Seeds are a rich source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Seeds are harvested when ripe for oil extraction. 
 
Biochemistry: The foliage of starflower is rich in pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the range of 2 to 8 mg/kg. The principal alkaloids detected in the leaves include lycopsamine, supinine, amabiline, acetyl lycopsamine, 7-acetyl intermedine, intermedine, and cynaustine.  In addition, borage plants contain hydrocyanic acid (15mg HCN/kg of young non-flowering plants).  The flowers contain alkaloid thesinine.  The seeds contain thesinine (300 mg/kg in mature seeds), lycopsamine, 7-acetyl intermedine, and seneciphylline in addition to 13 to 33 percent oil with 34 to 39 % linoleic acid, 20 26 % GLA, 15-19 % oleic acid, and 9-12 % palmitic acid.
GLA is unusual fatty acid. It is an intermediate in the biosynthesis of prostaglandins, a class of metabolic regulators in mammals. 
 
USES:
It is cooling, saline, diuretic herb that soothes damaged or irritated tissues, increases perspiration and has mild sedative and antidepressant effects.
 
Borago officinalis extract
Skin-Conditioning Agent – Miscellaneous, Emollient
 
Traditional use: A hot poultice helps to relieve the pain of gout and inflamed swellings.  It can help to clear the skin of troublesome spots. Externally it makes an excellent eye lotion.
 
Borago officinalis leaf extract
Skin-Conditioning Agent
 
Borago officinalis fixed oil
Skin-Conditioning Agent - Emollient
 
Traditional use: Starflower fixed oil is another rich plant source of GLA. It can be used as an alternative to evening primrose oil for skin conditions, rheumatic complaints, and premenstrual syndrome.  It is excellent moisturizer in skin care.  It is used in eyewashes, gargles, mouthwashes, and poultices.
 
TOXICOLOGY
Warning: The herb is a skin irritant and possible allergen.  All parts of the herb, except the seed oil, are subject to legal restrictions in some countries. 
 
CIR Safety Review: Borago Officinalis Seed Oil was included in the CIR Expert Panel’s review of plant-derived fatty acids oils.  Based on a history of safe use in food and/or dietary supplements, the composition of the oils, and data indicating these ingredients were not dermal irritants or sensitizers, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that plant-derived fatty acid oils including Borago Officinalis Seed Oil were safe as used in cosmetic products.
 
Borago Officinalis Seed Oil 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.
 
The presence of pyrrolizidine alkaloids now gives doubts about the safety of starflower as a culinary and medicinal herb where regular or large amounts of foliage are consumed.
 
Not assessed for safety in cosmetics by the industry panel.
SWEET BASIL (Ocimum basilicum)

DESCRIPTION:


Botany: Sweet Basil or Basil is an annual herb of the family Labiatae or Lamiaceae. It grows about 0.5 m high.  It is thought to be native to India, tropical Asia and Africa, and is cultivated worldwide. There are many varieties; some of them have different compositions and flavouring characteristics, depending on geographic location and different environmental factors.  The parts used are the dried leaves and flowering
tops. 
 
History and/or folklore: In traditional medicine, the herb was used to cure colds, warts and worms, and as an appetite stimulant, carminative, and diuretic, among other applications. It was widely used as a medicinal herb in the Far East, especially in China and India.  In traditional use in India it is called tulsi and it is used for Ayurvedic medicine.  An infusion of the leaves is applied locally on sunburn, and as a protection from the effects of the sun. In folklore, the plant is sacred to Krishna and Vishnu, and it is believed that when a basil leaf is laid on the breast of a dead Hindu, it acts as a passport to eternal paradise. In China, the dried leaves are especially recommended for use before and after parturition to promote blood circulation, and the whole herb is used to treat snakebite and insect bites.
 
Biochemistry: The volatile oil contains d-linalool and estragole (methyl chavicol, or p-allylanisole) as the major components.  The oil also includes methyl cinnamate, cineol, eugenol, and borneol.  Other constituents present in sweet basil include protein, carbohydrates, vitamins A and C in relative high concentrations, rosmarinic acid (a natural phenol antioxidant carboxylic acid), thymol and the flavone, xanthomicrol. 
 
Products:
Ocimum basilicum essential oil; an essential oil is obtained by steam distillation from the flowering herb.
 
Ocimum basilicum botanical extract; from dried leaves
 

USES:


Ocimum basilicum essential oil 
Because of the components it is recommended for sluggish and congested skin. The oil is also used as an insect repellent, and has shown antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-worm and insecticidal activities. 
 
It is used as a fragrance ingredient in perfumes, soaps, hair dressings, dental creams and mouth washes. 
 
The oil is said to affect the nervous system, “clearing the head” and is uplifting; as such it is useful in nervous conditions such as anxiety, and mild depression).
 

TOXICOLOGY:


Sweet basil is reported to be non-toxic. 
 
Estragole, a major component in some sweet basil oils, has been shown to produce tumours (hepatocellular carcinomas) in mice and genotoxicity. 
 
Overuse or improper use of Sweet Basil oil should be avoided (methyl chavicol one of the main constituents is moderately toxic, and can be irritating to the skin and may also be carcinogenic); it is best avoided during pregnancy.