Writing in the Journal of King Saud University – Science, a team of researchers from Oman, Saudi Arabia and Republic of Korea investigated the phytochemical, antioxidant, hair growth and wound healing potential of extracts from olive tree, wild and cultivar, and Greek juniper [Juniperus excelsa] leaves. The two plants were key natural sources found in Oman, already traditionally used to treat a plethora of diseases and ailments.
The research was especially timely amidst the rising interest in herbal plants and medicine because of association with strong efficacy and fewer side effects, the researchers said.
Findings showed tannins, alkaloid, saponin, terpenes and phenolic were found at high concentrations in both leaf-based plant extracts, with juniper extracts showing a “significant result” in wound healing and wild and cultivar olive extracts offering the “best effect” on hair growth.
“From these findings, it is clear that these traditional medicinal plant parts can be effectively used for pharmacological preparations,” the researchers wrote.
Results also warranted further exploration on therapeutic applications that could be used with both extracts, they said.
Wound healing promise
Traditionally, essential oils were widely used in Oman to treat infectious diseases and aid wound healing.
“During wound recovery, the invasion of pathogens into the damaged tissue must be prevented by using antimicrobial agents [until] partial or complete reformation of damaged tissue (…) It is known that the plant secondary metabolites, namely flavonoids, triterpenes, alkaloids, and many other constituents triggers the wound healing process at some stages,” the researchers wrote.
In a preliminary mouse study investigating wound healing, findings showed juniper water extract offered the “best effect on the recovery” of a linear wound when applied topically, aligning with earlier research suggestions, they said. “Several reports suggested that the Juniper excelsa extract is enriched with natural bioactive substances which provides antimicrobial activity, moisturising activity and building of the skin to help in healing the wound and cuts, also reduction of inflammation at the wound site.”
Hair growth promise
Essential oils were also widely used in Oman to stimulate hair growth. And a preliminary mouse study on hair growth showed wild and cultivar olive water extracts offered most promise.
The researchers suggested this was achieved in several ways. “Juniper excelsa and olive extract will simply penetrate the scalp and its cleansing result helps in detoxifying the hair follicles and promotes blood circulation within the scalp.”
The extracts also increased nutrients to the hair follicles, aiding hair growth, they said.
Source: Journal of King Saud University – Science
February 2023, Vol. 32, Issue 2. Online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.jksus.2022.102446
Title: “Phytochemical, antioxidant, hair growth and wound healing property of Juniperus excelsa, Olea oleaster and Olea europaea”
Authors: FS. Nasser Al-Owamri et al.