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Application of the essential oil from copaiba (Copaifera langsdori Desf.) for acne vulgaris: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Department of Pharmacy, Centro Universitario Vila Velha, Espirito Santo, Brasil.
Alternative medicine review: a journal of clinical therapeutic (Impact Factor: 4.86). 03/2012; 17(1):69-75.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Copaiba oil-resin is widely used in traditional medicine due to its anti-inflammatory, healing, and antiseptic activities. This research aims to extract and evaluate the qualitative and quantitative composition of copaiba essential oil from the oil-resin, and test its effects, after incorporation in a gel applied in volunteers with acne, in a double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial. The essential oil was extracted by steam distillation, and purified by freezing to remove the residual remnant water. The density of the essential oil was gravimetrically determined by weighing 1 mL of liquid at 20 degree C. The identification of the essential oil components was carried out through high-resolution gas chromatography analysis, coupled with mass spectrometry. The essential oil has a density of 0.9175 mg/mL and was composed of 48 substances, 14 of which were the major components representing 95.80% of total essential oil composition. Cis-thujopsene was the main component (46.96% of total essential oil composition). The surface affected with acne decreased when treated with placebo (F = 13.931, p = 0.001, r = 0.518; r2 = 0.268), but the linear model could explain only 26.8% of total variance in original data matrix. There was a highly significant decrease in the surface affected with acne in the areas treated with the 1.0% copaiba essential oil preparation (F = 86.494, p = 0.000, r = 0.834; r2 = 0.695).

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    ABSTRACT: Acne is prevalent among adolescents and adults with significant psychological effects. Standard oral and topical therapies can have significant side effects including skin irritation, gastrointestinal upset, and the development of drug-resistant bacteria. The use of botanicals and phytochemicals in dermatological products is increasingly popular, and many patients are turning to these alternative therapies for treatment of acne. This study aimed to systematically review clinical studies that have investigated the use of botanical agents in the treatment of acne. PubMed and Embase databases were searched in March 2013 for trials assessing botanical therapies in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Data from these trials are presented, and methodology of each study is assessed. Twenty-three trials met inclusion criteria. Interventions included plant extracts, herbal formulations, and phytochemicals. All studies reported favorable results, and several showed equal or superior treatment to standard therapies. No serious adverse events were reported. Few studies were methodologically rigorous. Each botanical was studied in only one or two trials. Botanicals are promising therapies for acne vulgaris although further research is warranted, especially with regard to severe acne and acne resistant to conventional therapy. There is a need for standardized methods for grading acne and assessing therapeutic effects. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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