The Jakarta Post
The mulberry plant (Rubus fraxinifolius) is believed to have anti-aging properties. (Shutterstock/dewa_muji)
Mulberries might be the answer for people who want to prevent early aging, a PhD candidate at the University of Indonesia has found.
The researcher, Yesi Desmiaty of the university’s School of Pharmacy, wrote in her dissertation that several types of mulberries (Rubus fraxinifolius and Rubus rosifolius) had strong antioxidant and anti-elastase properties.
Both kinds of mulberry are commonly found in regions across the archipelago, such as West Java, where they are called arbei.
She studied the plants to learn if it was possible to use them for cosmetic products. “There has been an increase of anti-aging cosmetic products in the market,” Yesi said.
Elastase is an enzyme that can trigger the formation of wrinkles in human’s skin and is thus deemed the main culprit behind premature aging. Substances working to inhibit the enzyme have been used as ingredients in anti-aging cosmetic products.
Meanwhile, antioxidant materials protect the human body’s cells from the constant threat of free radicals that are capable of damaging cells and genetic material, which contributes to chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
Yesi explained that several mulberry species had been reported to show strong antioxidant, anti-elatase, anti-collagenase and other anti-aging activities.
After studying the two species of mulberries, the researcher found that the leaves of the Rubus fraxinifolius possess the highest concentration of antioxidant substances in the plant.
Prior to Yesi’s study, there has been little information regarding anti-aging activities in the two mulberry species. Her research is expected to become the foundation for cosmetic product development, as both plants can be used as ingredients for anti-aging cosmetics.
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