Currently, there is an increasing scientific interest of exploring herbal ingredients as anti-inflammatory agents.
Cherry blossom extract has been used as a soothing agent in skin care products; but, few investigations have systemically examined the effects of cherry blossom on inflammation.
Therefore, scientists from Guangzhou assessed the potential anti-inflammatory effects of cherry blossom by measuring its efficacy of nitric oxide inhibition in vitro, and its anti-inflammatory activity on subjects in a sodium lauryl sulphate test in vivo as a soothing skin care product.
The results, which are published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, suggest that cherry blossom extract (Prunus yedoensis) is a potential anti-inflammatory agent that could be used as a promising component of herbal cosmetic for inflammatory skin disorders.
Cherry blossoms have been investigated before but few observations regarding the anti-inflammatory effect of cherry blossoms were reported, which led the researchers to explore the anti-inflammatory effect when used as a soothing ingredient in a skin care product.
Cherry blossoms were collected from Jeju Island in South Korea and studied in vitro for their anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting lipopolysaccharide-induced nitric oxide production in macrophages, a type of white blood cell that engulfs and digests cellular debris and foreign substances.
It found that 2% cherry blossom, extract reduced nitric oxide production by 31.83% compared to the placebo.
For the in vivo study, 40 volunteers were included in a randomized, single-blinded, placebo-controlled trial in which 24-hour-occlusive test chambers were applied on the flexor side of the forearm with 3% sodium lauryl sulphate.
The test areas were treated on 9 subsequent days with a cream containing 3% cherry blossom extract or a placebo. These were given a visual score and a determination of redness of the skin.
The SLS irritant patch test, showed that the subjects that had applied cream containing the cherry blossom scored lower for redness and inflammation than those that had applied the placebo cream.
Zhang, Y. Q., Guan, L., Zhong, Z. Y., Chang, M., Zhang, D. K., Li, H. and Lai, W. (2014), The anti-inflammatory effect of cherry blossom extract (Prunus yedoensis) used in soothing skincare product. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 36: 527–530. doi: 10.1111/ics.12149