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PROPERTIES OF MENTHA PIPERITA: A BRIEF REVIEW

Authors:
  • Universidade de Marília - Medicina
Barbalho et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical and Medical Research
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PROPERTIES OF MENTHA PIPERITA: A BRIEF REVIEW
Silvia Cristina Cerini Trevisan1, Aline Pereira Paes Menezes1, Sandra Maria Barbalho1*,2,
Élen Landgraf Guiguer1,2
1Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, Faculty of Food Technology of Marília (FATEC), Av. Castro Alves, 62,
Marília 17506-000, SP, Brazil.
2Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Marília, Av. Higino Muzzi Filho
1001, Marília 15525-902, SP, Brazil.
Article Received on 03/12/2016 Article Revised on 24/12/2016 Article Accepted on 13/01/2017
INTRODUCTION
Herbal medicinal compounds are used all over the world
as the most natural way to intake of phytochemicals. The
use of natural products that are rich in bioactive
substances is growing along with the demand for plants
containing wide range of antioxidant properties and
bioactive molecules capable of neutralizing free radicals
slowing the progress of many chronic diseases associated
with oxidative stress.[1-4]
Among the diversity of plants, Mentha piperita
(Lamiaceae family) is one of the herbs most widely used
worldwide, with a long history of safe use in medicinal
preparations. Its leaf is used as a remedy for common
cold, inflammation of the mouth, pharynx, liver, as well
as disorders in the gastrointestinal tract such as nausea,
vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, flatulence and dyspepsia. It
is also used as antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-
inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic.[5-13] plant is known
for having several phytochemicals, including
polyphenols that are highly effective antioxidants and are
less toxic than the synthetic ones. This property makes it
of great interest to the Food Industry, since the phenolic
compounds retard the oxidative degradation of lipids
improving the quality and nutritional value of food.[2-3]
It is also of great interest for Medicine due to its
medicinal activities as antinociceptive, anti-
inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
The presence of flavonoids such as eriocitrin, narirutin,
hesperidin, luteolin-7-O-rutinoside, isorhoifolin,
diosmin, rosmarinic acid, and 5, 7-dihydroxycromone-7-
O-rutinoside exert anti-allergic effects.[14-15] Figure 1
shown the main properties of this plant.
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WORLD JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL
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*Corresponding Author: Dr. Sandra Maria Barbalho
Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, Faculty of Food Technology of Marília (FATEC), Av. Castro Alves, 62, Marília 17506-000, SP,
Brazil.
ABSTRACT
Among several plants, Mentha piperita is one of the herbs most widely used worldwide, with a long history of safe
use in medicinal preparations. Its leaf is used as a remedy for common cold, inflammation of the mouth, pharynx,
liver, as well as disorders in the gastrointestinal tract such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, flatulence and
dyspepsia. This plant possess polyphenols that are highly effective antioxidants and are less toxic than the synthetic
ones. This property makes it of great interest to the Food Industry, since the phenolic compounds retard the
oxidative degradation of lipids improving the quality and nutritional value of food. The aim of this review is to
show that several studies have demonstrated the presence of many different chemical compounds in Mentha
piperita and their pharmacological effects. This plant has demonstrated the presence of a wide variety of bioactive
compounds that represent a rich resource in phytochemicals of great interest to treat several pathologies. Some of
the benefic biological effects show that this plant may play an important role as anti-oxidant, antinociceptive, anti-
inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-carcinogenic, antiviral, anti-allergic and antitumorigenic, indicating its utility in
the prevention or treatment of several diseases. Furthermore, we may say that Mentha piperita is a promising plant
that may offer low-cost alternative strategy for the use in Medicine and in food industry.
KEYWORDS: Mentha piperita, phytochemicals, glycaemia, lipids, free radicals.
Barbalho et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical and Medical Research
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Figure 1: Properties of M. piperita.
Due to the expansion in the research about the
potential use of plants with broad applications and
benefits, the aim of this review is to show that several
studies have demonstrated the presence of many
different chemical compounds in Mentha piperita and
their pharmacological effects.
METHODS
This review was based on a literature survey papers
which used experimental studies involving in vitro or
with humans and / or animals. For this research we
used the Scielo databases, PMC, PubMed and
LILACS. For search of articles the following
descriptors were used: Mentha piperita, properties of
M. piperita, M. piperita applications.
COMPOSITION OF THE ESSENTIAL OIL
The essential oil of Mentha piperita contains
acetaldehyde, amyl alcohol, menthyl esters, limone,
phellandrene, pinene, pugelone, and dimethyl sulfide,
alpha-pinene, sabinene, ocimene, gamma-terpinene,
terpinolene, alpha- and beta-thujone, citronellol,
menthol, menthone, menthofuran, menthyl acetate,
isomenthone and other compounds capable of
producing the above mentioned effects of this plant.[7,
13, 15]
COMPOSITION OF THE LEAVES
In the extract of the leaves of M. piperita are present
mainly flavonoids and phenolic acids and some of the
compounds are menthol, menthone caffeic acid,
acetaldehyde, amyl alcohol, menthyl esters, limonene,
pinene, cardial glycosides, phellandrene, cadinene,
pugelone, and dimethyl sulfide. The constituent
features include alpha-pinene, sabinene, terpinolene,
ocimene, diterpenes, gamma-terpinene, steroids,
fenchene, alpha- and beta-thujone, coumarin,
citronellol, carotenes, tocopherols, betaine, choline,
saponin, tannins, and other components.[7, 9, 15-16]
ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTIES
Lack of antioxidants in organism, promotes the
oxidative stress due to the presence of free radicals,
which in turn causes a variety of pathological
conditions. Antioxidants, which are an integral part of
biologically active substances, are of great interest.
They can reduce mutagenic influence, regulating the
oxidation process of free radicals. According to
literature, a number of biologically active substances,
which are produced by plants and have antioxidant
activity, are known. They include α-tocoferol (vitamin
E), tannins, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), β- carotene, a
number of protein compounds with enzymatic activity,
flavonoids, polysaccharides, terpenoids, polyphenol
compounds and etc. Mentha pipertita have antioxidant
properties due to presence of several bioactive
substances.[17]
The antioxidant properties of Mentha pipertita are
important to prevent inflammation process and
dyslipidemia as well as several chronic degenerative
diseases as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (Table
1).
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Table 1: Metabolic effects of M. piperita.
Effect
Comment
Reference
Decrease the glycaemia,
cholesterol, LDL-c, VLDL-c
and triglycerides in the
offspring of diabetic rats.
Mentha juice may help prevention
of diabetes and its complications
in diabetic rats offspring.
Barbalho et al[12];
Figueroa-Pérez et
al[9];
David et al[10]
Reduction of blood levels of
cholesterol, triglycerides,
LDL-c and glucose.
M. piperita may prevent diabetes
and its complications.
Mesbahzadeh et al[18]
Reduction of blood lipids and
exhibit antioxidant activity.
Mentha juice may help prevention
of cardiovascular diseases.
Badal et al[15]; Sharafi
et al[4]
Immunomodulatory and anti-
inflammatory action in murine
model.
Mentha piperita leaves exhibit an
immunomodulatory and
antiparasitic effect in the
experimental murine model of
schistosomiasis.
Zaia et al[19]
ANTIMICROBIAL EFFECTS
The constituents of the essential oil of M. piperita have
different modes of action in bacteria and eukaryotic cells.
They exhibit strong bactericidal properties, and in
eukaryotic they modify apoptosis and differentiation,
interfere with the post translational modification of
proteins and induce or inhibit certain liver detoxifying
enzymes.[4]
Antibacterial activity of plants may be attributed to the
presence of phenolic compounds that behave as pro-
oxidants because they undergo high oxidation, so instead
of eliminating the reaction of free radical chain, they lead
to generation of superoxide and quinones. The most
easily oxidized phenolics such as quercetin and gallic
acid have pro-oxidant activity but tannins, due to the
high molecular weight have little pro-oxidant activity.[20]
According to Shehadi et al [21], the bioactivity found in
different compounds of plants are generally attributed to
the presence of secondary metabolites which produce
physiological actions. The extracts can be categorized
into several classes among which are terpenoids,
flavonoids and phenolics that are known to be active
against bacteria, viruses and protozoa.
The antimicrobial effects of the essential oil can be
attributed to their mechanisms of action within the cell
membrane. The implications of this mechanism involves
lysis and loss of membrane integrity due to changes that
determine the output of ions (hydrogen, potassium and
calcium), causing damage in the essential cell survival
processes. Menthol and menthone present in the essential
oil components of M. piperita is responsible for the
antimicrobial activity.[5]
OTHER EFFECTS
According to Ferreira et al[8], menthol is one of the main
components of the essential oil of M. piperita that
produce anti-cancer activity inducing cell death, either
by necrosis or apoptosis (in Caco-2 cell line). The
cytotoxicity associated with essential oil has been
attributed to various effects such as the production of
reactive species, change in fluidity and membrane
permeability, tubulin polymerization, imbalance in ion
transport, and inhibition of protein function.
Rodriguez Fragoso et al[13] noted that M. piperita relaxes
the lower esophageal sphincter, which is useful as an
antispasmodic agent by taking double contrast barium
and in patients with dyspepsia. It acts by inhibiting the
spontaneous peristaltic activity, reducing the total
gastrointestinal transit and gastric emptying by lowering
basal tone in the intestinal tract, reducing low frequency
waves in the esophagus, and small intestine by slowing
the peristaltic movements and inhibiting responses
induced by potassium depolarization. Other biological
effects of M. piperita are found in table 2.
Table 2: Other effects of Mentha piperita in different models.
Part of the plant
Compounds
Effects
Reference
Herbal preparation with MP
leaves in humans
-
Decreased anion secretion via activation of two
epithelial chloride channels. These were the
cAMP-dependent cystic fibrosis trans
membrane conductance regulator and calcium-
activated chlo-ride channels.
Allam et al[22]
MP extracts leaves in fish
Potassium, calcium,
iron, manganese and
magnesium. Vitamin A,
C and E.
Dose-dependent increases in growth, immune
(in skin, mucus and blood serum) and
hematological parameters, as well as in
amylase activity and in the number of lactic
acid bacteria.
Adel et al[23, 24]
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Essential oil of the leaves in
stored minced beef meat
Menthol (33.59%) and
iso-menthone (33%)
Decrease in TBARS values.
Smaoui et al[25]
Essential oil in Musca
domestica and Anopheles
stephensi
Menthol and menthone
Substantial larvicidal activity against housefly
and Anopheles stephensi.
Chauhan et al[26]
Leaves in excision wound
model
decarboxyrosemarinic
acid galactoside
Increase the cellular
proliferation and collagen synthesis at the
wound site (healing activity); decrease the
levels of lipid peroxides and increase of the
antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase,
catalase and glutathione peroxidase
Rais and Ali [27]
Essential oil in the plant
and in chocolate
In plant: peppermint:
menthol (30.35 %),
menthone (21.12 %),
and others; in Chocolate
mint: menthol (28.19 %)
and
menthone (15.53 %).
The antimicrobial
activity of peppermint against E. coli,
Streptococcus aureus
and Pseudomonas aeruginosa was stronger
than that of the
chocolate mint. For the anti-oxidation test,
peppermint showed better properties, however,
for the scavenging NO radical activity and as
anti-inflammatory, chocolate mint was superior
to peppermint.
Tsai[28]
Essential oil in Clostridium
perfringens
Oxygenated compounds,
especially oxygenated
monoterpenes and
phenylpropanoids.
Oxygenated monoterpenes and
phenylpropanoids might be responsible for the
antimicrobial activity.
Radaelli et al[29]
Leaves calves and piglets
-
Therapeutic option for gastrointestinal and
respiratory diseases in calves and piglets.
Ayrle et al[30]
TBARS: Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances.
CONCLUSION
Studies with Mentha piperita has demonstrated the
presence of a wide variety of bioactive compounds that
represent a rich resource in phytochemicals of great
interest to to treat several pathologies. Some of the
benefic biological effects show that this plant may play
an important role as anti-oxidant, antinociceptive, anti-
inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-carcinogenic, antiviral,
anti-allergic and antitumorigenic, indicating its utility in
the prevention or treatment of several diseases.
Furthermore, we may say that Mentha piperita is a
promising plant that may offer low-cost alternative
strategy for the use in Medicine and in food industry.
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Medicinal plants are considered colossal producers of bioactive therapeutics agents. The genus Mentha possesses commercial values owing to its aromatic species. Despite its traditional applications in food flavoring, Mentha spp. are widely used for treating not only cold and fever but also gastro-intestinal and cardiovascular disorders as folk medicines. It has revealed a plethora of biological traits viz. antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticancer, anti-ulcer, anti-diabetic, insecticidal, and anti-inflammatory activities. Generally, the presence of bioactive phytochemicals is the prime reason for the traditional pharmacological activities of Mentha spp. A rich source of potential phytoconstituents of Mentha spp. is an important agent for designing nutra‐pharmaceuticals. The current review paper discusses the different phytochemical, traditional medicinal features, and prime therapeutic properties of some of the most commonly used Mentha spp. Also, this paper summarizes the role of various metabolites of Mentha towards the development of therapeutic drugs in the future.
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This study determined the safe dosage of Mentha piperita essential oil in Oreochromis niloticus and tested its effectiveness against gill monogeneans. In the acute toxicity trial in fingerlings, seven oil concentrations (20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 mg/L) were evaluated with two controls, one positive (water) and one negative control (water with addition of 35 mL/L of absolute ethyl alcohol—99.8% PA). It was tested the lethal concentration for 48 h (LC50-48 h), and during this period we recorded the behavior and mortality of individuals. After the acute toxicity trial, histological analyzes were performed on the gills of specimens submitted to acute toxicity concentrations and controls. To test the efficacy of the essential oil against the parasite in the live host, it was performed an in vivo trial with 27 naturally infected juvenile Nile Tilapia. A three-replicate treatment was carried out, where the fish were submitted to 60-min baths with essential oil of M. piperita at a concentration of 35 mg/L (value determined by the acute toxicity trial), and two controls, one positive and a negative. The LC50 was determined using the Trimmed Spearman–Karber program with a 95% confidence interval. No behavioral changes were observed in the controls or in the 20 mg/L concentration, but it occurred in the other concentrations. Among the 270 individuals, 20 presented depigmentation. We found the following histological changes in the fingerlings gills: lamellar epithelium removal, partial lamellar fusion, generalized epithelial tissue proliferation, total lamellar fusion. In the in vivo trial, after 1 h of therapeutic bath at the concentration of 35 mg/L, no efficacy of the essential oil of M. piperita was verified against the monogeneans. According to this study, M. piperita essential oil demonstrated toxic to O. niloticus fingerlings at concentrations of 40, 45 and 50 mg/L, causing histological changes, changes in the color of the animal and death, and ineffectiveness against the monogeneans parasites after therapeutic bath in the highest concentration of essential oil tolerated by the studied fish specimens.
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Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by several species of trematode worms and it is believed that more than 261 million people are affected worldwide. The development of new drugs has become essential due to the risk of the parasite to become resistant to Praziquantel, the only drug available for this infection. This study evaluated parasitological, immunological and histological parameters in Schistosoma mansoni infected mice treated with an herbal commercial medicine. This drug consists of menthol (30-55%) and menthone (14-32%). A 60 day treatment regimen with the herbal medicine decreased the number of S. mansoni eggs in the faeces, liver and intestine and reduced the number of hepatic granulomas. In addition, a reduction of 84% in blood eosinophilia and a decrease in the IL-4 and IL-10 blood levels after treatment, was observed. Therefore, we propose that schistosomiasis treatment with this herbal medicine, consisting of menthol and menthone, for 60 days has an immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory action in this animal model of schistosomiasis thus contributing to the decrease in physio pathological effects caused by Schistosoma mansoni infection.
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Background: Gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases in calves and piglets lead to significant economic losses in livestock husbandry. A high morbidity has been reported for diarrhea (calves ≤ 35 %; piglets ≤ 50 %) and for respiratory diseases (calves ≤ 80 %; piglets ≤ 40 %). Despite a highly diverse etiology and pathophysiology of these diseases, treatment with antimicrobials is often the first-line therapy. Multi-antimicrobial resistance in pathogens results in international accordance to strengthen the research in novel treatment options. Medicinal plants bear a potential as alternative or additional treatment. Based on the versatile effects of their plant specific multi-component-compositions, medicinal plants can potentially act as 'multi-target drugs'. Regarding the plurality of medicinal plants, the aim of this systematic review was to identify potential medicinal plant species for prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases and for modulation of the immune system and inflammation in calves and piglets. Results: Based on nine initial sources including standard textbooks and European ethnoveterinary studies, a total of 223 medicinal plant species related to the treatment of gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases was identified. A defined search strategy was established using the PRISMA statement to evaluate 30 medicinal plant species starting from 20'000 peer-reviewed articles published in the last 20 years (1994-2014). This strategy led to 418 references (257 in vitro, 84 in vivo and 77 clinical trials, thereof 48 clinical trials in veterinary medicine) to evaluate effects of medicinal plants and their efficacy in detail. The findings indicate that the most promising candidates for gastrointestinal diseases are Allium sativum L., Mentha x piperita L. and Salvia officinalis L.; for diseases of the respiratory tract Echinacea purpurea (L.) MOENCH, Thymus vulgaris L. and Althea officinalis L. were found most promising, and Echinacea purpurea (L.) MOENCH, Camellia sinensis (L.) KUNTZE, Glycyrrhiza glabra L. and Origanum vulgare L. were identified as best candidates for modulation of the immune system and inflammation. Conclusions: Several medicinal plants bear a potential for novel treatment strategies for young livestock. There is a need for further research focused on gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases in calves and piglets, and the findings of this review provide a basis on plant selection for future studies.
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Despite recent advances in food production technology, food-borne diseases (FBD) remain a challenging public health concern. In several countries, including Brazil, Clostridium perfringens is among the five main causative agents of food-borne diseases. The present study determines antimicrobial activities of essential oils of six condiments commonly used in Brazil, viz., Ocimum basilicum L. (basil), Rosmarinus officinalis L. (rosemary), Origanum majorana L. (marjoram), Mentha × piperita L. var. Piperita (peppermint), Thymus vulgaris L. (thyme) and Pimpinella anisum L. (anise) against C. perfringens strain A. Chemical compositions of the oils were determined by GC–MS (gas chromatography–mass spectrometry). The identities of the isolated compounds were established from the respective Kováts indices, and a comparison of mass spectral data was made with those reported earlier. The antibacterial activity was assessed from minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) using the microdilution method. Minimum inhibitory concentration values were 1.25mgmL−1 for thyme, 5.0mgmL−1 for basil and marjoram, and 10mgmL−1 for rosemary, peppermint and anise. All oils showed bactericidal activity at their minimum inhibitory concentration, except anise oil, which was only bacteriostatic. The use of essential oils from these common spices might serve as an alternative to the use of chemical preservatives in the control and inactivation of pathogens in commercially produced food systems.
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This study evaluated the ability of the essential oil from Mentha arvensis L. (MAEO) and M. piperita L. (MPEO) to induce ≥ 5-log reductions in counts (CFU/mL) of E. coli, L. monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis in Brain-Heart Infusion broth (BHIB) and cashew, guava, mango, and pineapple juices during refrigerated storage (4 ± 0.5 °C). The effects of the incorporation of these essential oils on some physicochemical and sensory parameters of juices were also evaluated. The incorporation of 5, 2.5, 1.25, or 0.625 μL/mL of MAEO in BHIB caused a ≥ 5-log reduction in counts of E. coli and Salmonella Enteritidis after 24 h of storage; but only 5 μL/mL was able to cause the same reduction in counts of L. monocytogenes. The incorporation of 10 μL/mL of MPEO in BHIB caused a ≥ 5-log reduction in counts of E. coli, Salmonella Enteritidis, and L. monocytogenes after 24 h of storage; smaller reductions were observed in BHIB containing 5, 2.5, and 1.25 μL/mL of MPEO. Similar reductions were observed when the MAEO or MPEO was incorporated at the same concentrations in mango juice. The incorporation of MAEO or MPEO at all tested concentrations in cashew, guava, and pineapple juices resulted in a ≥ 5-log reduction in pathogen counts within 1 h. The incorporation of MAEO and MPEO (0.625 and 1.25 μL/mL, respectively) in fruit juices did not induce alterations in °Brix, pH, and acidity, but negatively affected the taste, aftertaste, and overall acceptance. The use of MAEO or MPEO at low concentrations could constitute an interesting tool to achieve the required 5-log reduction of pathogenic bacteria in cashew, guava, mango, and pineapple fruit juices. However, new methods combining the use of MAEO or MPEO with other technologies are necessary to reduce their negative impacts on specific sensory properties of these juices.
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In this work aqueous infusions from ten Mentha herbal samples (four different Mentha species and six hybrids of Mentha x piperita) and 20 different peppermint teas were screened by capillary electrophoresis with UV detection. The fingerprint separation was accomplished in a 25 mM borate background electrolyte with 10% methanol at pH 9.3. The total polyphenolic content in the extracts was determined spectrophotometrically at 765 nm by Folin-Ciocalteu´s phenol assay. Total antioxidant activity was determined by scavenging of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical at 515 nm. The peak areas of 12 dominant peaks from CE analysis, present in all samples, and the value of total polyphenolic content and total antioxidant activity obtained by spectrophotometry was combined into a single data matrix and principal component analysis (PCA) was applied. The obtained PCA model resulted in distinct clusters of Mentha and peppermint tea samples distinguishing the samples according to their potential protective antioxidant effect. PCA, using a non-targeted approach with no need for compound identification, was found as a new promising tool for screening of herbal tea products. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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This study was aimed to assess the potential effects of Mentha piperita on the hemato – immunological and biochemical parameters, skin antibacterial activity and protection against Yersinia ruckeri infection in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. Fish were divided into 4 groups before being fed diets supplemented with 0, 1, 2 and 3% of Mentha piperita (MP) plant extract for 8 weeks. Dose-dependent increases immune (both in skin mucus and blood serum) and hematological parameters (number of red and white cells, hematocrit and hemoglobin contents), as well as in respiratory burst activity, total protein, albumin, and neutrophil levels in fish fed supplemented diets compared to the control fish. Furthermore, dietary MP plant extract supplements have no significant effect on blood biochemical parameters and enzymatic activities of liver determined in serum of rainbow trout. After 8 weeks the cessation of feeding with MP plant extract, survival rates of 54.4%, 63.6% and 75.2% were recorded in groups which received 1, 2 and 3% of MP plant extract of feed, respectively, compared to 34.6% survivals in the control. This study underlying several positive effects of dietary administration of MP plant extract to farmed fish.
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Context: Plant extracts are commonly used in a number of cosmetics and topical pharmaceuticals. The effects on such extracts on the subsequent dermal absorption and penetration of other cosmetic ingredients needs to be evaluated. Objective: This study demonstrates the effect of some natural extracts routinely found in cosmetics on the dermal absorption and penetration of marker penetrants. Methods: Aqueous ethanolic extracts of Gingko biloba, Lavendula angustifolia, Rosmarinus officinale, Mentha piperita, Matricaria recutita, Persea Americana, Avena sativa, Zingiber officinale were prepared. (14)C-caffeine and (14)C-salicylic acid were topically dosed with either 10% solutions of natural extracts or ethanol (control) using a flow through in vitro porcine skin diffusion system. Samples were analyzed with liquid scintillation counter. The parameters of flux, permeability, and percent dose absorbed/retained were calculated and compared. Results: The dermal absorption of (14)C-caffeine was significantly higher (p ≥ 0.05) with avocado, chamomile, ginger and peppermint extract as compared to the control ethanol; while dermal absorption of (14)C-salicylic acid was significantly greater with ginkgo and chamomile extract as compared to ethanol. Over four fold increase in flux and permeability of caffeine with avocado extract was observed while chamomile and peppermint extracts increased the flux and permeability of caffeine over three fold. Gingko and chamomile extracts increased salicylic acid's flux and permeability by two fold. Sum of %dose skin residue + %absorption in receptor fluid for different extracts exhibited the similar trend as shown by flux and permeability. The other natural extracts tested did not produce statistically significant effects on dermal penetration parameters for both caffeine and salicylic acid (p ≥ 0.05). Conclusion: These results emphasize the influence of natural plant extracts on the transdermal penetration of hydrophilic (caffeine) and hydrophobic (salicylic acid) penetrants and thus warrants the consideration as to their safety in cosmetics and topical pharmaceuticals containing natural extracts.
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Background: Herbal distillates have been used as beverages, for flavoring, or as phytomedicines in many countries for a long time. Recently, the occurrence of blindness after drinking herbal distillates has created concerns in Iran. The aim of this study was to determine the concentrations of methanol in herbal distillates produced in Iran. Methods: Eighty-four most commonly used herbal distillates purchased from herbal distillate factories were analyzed for methanol contents by gas chromatography and flame ionization detection, with ethanol as internal standard. Results: In 15 herbal distillates, the methanol concentration was below the limit of quantitation. The methanol concentrations in all samples ranged from 43 to 277 mg/L. Forty-five samples contained methanol in excess of the Iranian standard. The maximum concentration was found in an herbal distillate of Mentha piperita (factory E) (277±12), and the minimum in a distillate of Carum carvi (factory B) (42.6 ± 0.5). Conclusions: Since the 45 Iranian herbal distillates containing methanol levels were beyond the legal limits according to the Iranian standard, it seems necessary to monitor the amount of methanol and give a warning to watch out for the latent risk problem of methanol uptake, and establish a definitive relationship between the degree of intoxication observed and the accumulation of methanol in the blood.