Litsea cubeba oil – a precious resource from nature, has attracted the attention of scientific researchers in the field of medicine and herbs. With the ability to bring many health and beauty benefits, Litsea cubeba oil is one of the natural essential oils that is being thoroughly researched for application in the health care and beauty industry.
1. Chemical composition of Litsea cubeba oil
- Terpenoids and terpenes: Terpenoids are a group of organic compounds that are structurally derived from isoprene, commonly found in Litsea cubeba oil. They have a characteristic aroma and have a wide range of biological activities. Common terpenoids in Litsea cubeba oil include limonene, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, and myrcene. They have antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Phenolic: Litsea cubeba oil also contains many phenolic compounds such as thymol and carvacrol. These compounds have powerful antioxidant capabilities, helping to protect cells from the effects of free radicals. In addition, they have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activities, which play an important role in dealing with bacteria and pathogens.
- Aldehydes: Several types of aldehydes can also be found in Litsea cubeba oil, such as cinnamaldehyde and benzaldehyde. They often give essential oils a characteristic aroma and have antibacterial activity.
- Allyl mercaptan and diallyl disulfide have antibacterial, antifungal and digestive properties. They often contribute to the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects of Litsea cubeba oil.
The combination of these ingredients creates the unique aroma and diverse biological activities of Litsea cubeba oil. Litsea cubeba oil is researched and developed for many new applications in the fields of medicine, herbs and beauty.
2. Biological activity of Litsea cubeba oil
2.1. Antibacterial and antifungal activity
Litsea cubeba oil has the ability to prevent the development and growth of pathogenic bacteria, thereby reducing the possibility of infection. The chemical constituents such as terpenoids, phenolics and alkaloids in the essential oil have been determined to act on bacterial cell membranes, causing a reduction in their reproductive and growth potential.
In a study on the antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic properties of Litsea cubeba oil carried out at the General Hospital of Shenyang Military Region Command, China, scientists concluded: alkaloids were evaluated for their in vitro antibacterial activity against two bacterial and five fungal species and cytotoxic properties against BGC-823 (human gastric carcinoma) cells, HepG2 cells ( human hepatocellular carcinoma), MCF-7 cells (human breast cancer), SGC-7901 cells (human gastric adenocarcinoma), SK-MEL-2 (skin cancer) in humans) and with SK-OV-3 (ovaries).
Reference source: Antibacterial, Antifungal and Cytotoxic Isoquinoline Alkaloids from Litsea cubeba
2.2. Anti-inflammatory activity
The anti-inflammatory activity of Litsea cubeba oil is an important ability that has been discovered and proven through many studies.
When the body responds to inflammation, inflammatory agents such as prostaglandins are produced, causing swelling and pain. However, the active ingredient in Litsea cubeba oil has the ability to inhibit the production of these agents, helping to control the inflammatory process and reduce inflammatory symptoms.
Studies have shown that Litsea cubeba oil can reduce swelling, pain, and redness of the skin in inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, atopic dermatitis, and other inflammatory diseases. This anti-inflammatory activity not only helps reduce symptoms, but it can also help increase the body’s ability to recover from an inflammatory condition.
In a study published in December 2017, Litsea cubeba oil contained anti-inflammatory activity, inhibiting the production of inflammatory mediators.
Reference source: Litsenolide A2: The major anti-inflammatory activity compound in Litsea japonica fruit
2.3. Antioxidant activity
In a study published in December 2018, the fruit and leaves of the tangerine plant had antioxidant activity.
Reference source: A comparative study on antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, genotoxicity, anti-microbial activities and chemical composition of fruit and leaf essential oils of Litsea cubeba Pers from North-east India
In another study published in February 2022,Litsea cubeba oil has antioxidant activity, offering the potential to be used as a natural additive to food for antioxidant, preventing spoilage. and extend shelf life.
See details: Litsea cubeba oil
3. Applications in medicine and beauty
3.1. In medicine
In 2015, Chinese scientists conducted a study to isolate, determine the structure and evaluate the anti-inflammatory effects of some active ingredients in the tang membrane. The results determined the structure of 14 components in the tang membrane with anti-inflammatory effects. Among them, balanophonin and 2,6-dimethoxy-p-benzoquinone exhibited stronger anti-inflammatory effects than quercetin. Cubebanone has significant inhibitory effect on NO production and anti-inflammatory; Some active ingredients have the ability to inhibit the growth of liver cancer cells. These findings are evidence that Litsea cubeba has promise for the treatment of diseases related to inflammation.
In another study, to elucidate the mechanism of action of Membrane in arthritis, a study was performed to determine its anti-inflammatory activity on lipopolysaccharide-induced cells. The obtained results showed that 1-ethoxy-3,7-dihydroxy-4,6-dimethoxy-9-fluorenone and 9.9′ -O-di-(E)-feruloyl-meso5,5′ -dimethoxysecoisolariciresinol in the membrane exhibits strong anti-inflammatory activity. Pinoresinol, syringaresinol and lyoniresinol also have anti-inflammatory effects. These results indicate that the tang membrane contains many components that may contribute to the anti-arthritic effect of the tang membrane.
Reference source: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/13880209.2015.1126619
3.2. In beauty
A study was conducted with the main objective of evaluating the use of Litsea cubeba extract as a potential natural source of tyrosinase inhibitors and against protein oxidation under UV light. The results showed that Litsea cubeba oil and citral were both shown to inhibit tyrosinase activity by over 42%. At the same time, Litsea cubeba oil showed a proteolytic effect, against UV–TiO2–NO2-induced protein oxidation and tyrosine nitrification. Therefore, preliminary observations suggest that dandelion root can be used as a new natural skin whitening agent.
Reference source: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10412905.2012.755479
In 2021, another study was conducted by scientists with the aim of evaluating the tyrosinase inhibitory effects of essential oils of Litsea cubeba, perilla, lemongrass and vermicelli. The tyrosinase inhibitory effects of these essential oils were repeated and compared with Kojic acid.
The obtained results showed that the essential oil with the strongest tyrosinase inhibitory effect was the membranous membrane. However, the inhibitory capacity of these essential oils was much lower than that of Kojic acid. The results obtained may help to incorporate these essential oils judiciously or to improve their biological effects and promote their potential as hyperpigmentation inhibitors.
Reference source: Citral-Containing Essential Oils as Potential Tyrosinase Inhibitors: A Bio-Guided Fractionation Approach
Litsea cubeba oil has a diverse chemical composition and important biological activities, very potential for wide application in medicine and beauty, providing opportunities for many future research and development.
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