Introduction of Plant Extract

1  Active ingredients of plant extract

1.1 Alkaloid

Alkaloid, or plant alkaloid, is a alkaline nitrogen-containing organic compound and it is an active ingredient in Chinese herbal medicine. It is colorless and odorless and generally insoluble in water.

1.2 Flavonoid

Flavonoid is widely found in various parts of plants, especially flowers and leaves. It has a variety of biological activities including antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antihypertensive, anti-oxidation, detoxification, anti-cancer, anti-cancer and the like.

1.3 Polysaccharide

It is a polysaccharide compound composed of more than 10 monosaccharides. Its effects include lowering serum cholesterol, fighting cancer and regulating immunity.

1.4 Glycoside

This is a combination of sugar and phenolics or flavonoids. It is colorless and odorless and soluble in water and ethanol.

1.5 Essential oil

Essential oil is volatile and are oily liquis that can be distilled off with water vapor, most of which have aroma.


2  Main plant extract products

2.1 Ginseng essential oil: It has functions such as promoting skin function, increasing skin vitality and protecting skin. It is believed that ginseng has functions of nourishing and moisturizing and prolonging life. And it also has anti-aging and anti-wrinkle effects for skin, especially for dry and sensitive skin.


2.2 Centella asiatica extract: It has bactericidal and anti-inflammatory effects. And it can promote blood circulation and increase skin thickness. It can also be used as anti-wrinkle cosmetics for rough skin and lips.


2.3 Cassia seed extract: It is brown fine powder. The active ingredients of cassia seed extract is total anthraquinones. It can reduce fever and enhance vision.


2.4 Apple Polyphenol: Polyphenols derived from apples have powerful effects on preventing and even reversing the effects of oxidation, inflammation, and glycation. Apple skins contain a unique polyphenol-phloridzin. It has many effects that mitigate damage caused by high blood sugar.


2.5 Aloe extract: It has good lubrication and moisturizing effect, and can also reduce inflammation and promote the healing of damaged skin.


2.6 Oat extract: It is often used in baby products. Oat extract has a history of cosmetic use in facial masks and as additive in bath soaps to relieve irritation and itching.


2.7 Konjac powder: The active ingredients of Konjac powder are glucomannan and dietary fiber. It has function of lipid-lowering, reducing blood glucose and cancer prevention.


2.8 Okra extract: It is brown powder and its active ingredient is okra polysaccharide. Okra extract can activate the central nervous system of male organs. It is effective for prostatitis, weak male sexual function and endocrine disorders.


3  Extraction methods of plant extract

3.1 Aqueous extraction: This method is used to extract water-soluble substances including polysaccharides, organic acids, saponins, phenols, tannins, proteins and other substances.


3.2 Organic solvent extraction: For example, ethanol is used to extract phenols, tannins, organic acids, coumarins, cardiac glycosides, and steroids.


3.3 Supersonic extraction: The cavitation of the ultrasonic waves accelerates the leaching of the active constituents of the plant. The advantages of this method include short extraction time, simple extraction method, high extraction rate, low extraction temperature, and avoiding damage to active ingredients by high temperature and high pressure. The disadvantage is the high container requirements and noise issues.


3.4 Microwave extraction: In the microwave field, the ability of the material to absorb microwaves is different, so some components can be selectively heated and extracted. The advantages of this method are short extraction time, simple equipment and low investment.


3.5 Supercritical fluid extraction: Extraction and separation are carried out by replacing the conventional organic solvent with a supercritical fluid. It is commonly used to extract volatile ingredients, fat-soluble substances, highly heat-sensitive substances, and valuable medicines. The advantages are low temperature, retention of active ingredients, no solvent residue, high purity and simple operation. The disadvantage is that the operating cost is high.


4  The applications of plant extract

4.1 Material of cosmetics

Natural plant extracts are widely used as material of cosmetics. Plants have large and complex phytochemicals that can calm, restore and heal the skin. Their functions include scavenging free radicals, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging. They can also be used as hair growth irritants and hair colorants in hair care.


4.2 Material of Health Food

One or more active ingredients in the plant can be obtained and concentrated by physical and chemical extraction and separation processes. Plant extracts are widely used as materials in the health food industry. There are more than 300 kinds of industrial extracts, which can be divided into terpenoids, acids, polyphenols, polysaccharides, terpenoids, flavonoids, alkaloids and so on.


4.3 Material of medical care

Medicinal plants are increasingly becoming a substitute for synthetic drugs. Medicinal plants have many therapeutic activities including antibacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. Therefore, extracts of medicinal plants provide a broaden prospect for the development of new drugs.

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