Medicinal Plant Applications in Cosmetics
Sri Lanka is a well-known country for its medicinal plant heritage of over 2500 years, where medicinal herbal remedies have been used in the treatment of many disease conditions. In our research and developments we have investigated a vast number of medicinal plants used in ancient beauty secrets and applied in the manufacture of herbal cosmetics under the brand name „Nature's Secrets“ in Sri Lanka and distributed in many countries (USA as „Spice Island“). Nature's Beauty Creations, around its factory premises, maintains a cultivation of over 400 medicinal plant species. Our presentation is focused on some of the medicinal plants used and readily found in our herbal garden which need further chemical and pharmacological investigations. Nut grass (Cyperus rotundus), lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), kokum (Kokoona zeylanica), venivel (Coscinium fenestratum), papaya (Carica papaya), gotukola (Centella asiatica) and godapara (Dillenia retusa) are some of which are being used in our products. Decoctions of these medicinal plants have been applied to different skin and hair conditions such as anti-wrinkle, antifungal, antimicrobial, skin whitening purposes, antioxidant activity/UV protection and moisturizing purposes. This presentation further illustrates scientific research, which were carried out and further research interests on skin applications as well as other pharmacological properties and chemical taxonomy.
Acknowledgements: Thanks goes to Mr. Samantha Kumarasinghe, Chairman, Natures Beauty Creations Ltd, Horana, Sri Lanka, for funding and facilitating plant research, Special gratitude goes to Prof. Iklas A. Khan and Dr. H.M.T. Bandara Herath at National Centre for Natural Products Research for their valuable guidance and collaborations.
References:  Abhayawardena PH, Kularathna GS (2010) Collection of medicinal plants in Sri Lanka, First Edition, Nature's Beauty Creations, V. G. Printers, Rajagiriya, Sri Lanka.  Agrawal S (2009) Advances in Medicinal Plants, Oxford Book Company.  Attygalle J, (1917) Sinhalese Materia Medica.  Chandrasena JPC, (2004) Medicinal plants of India and Ceylon: Their Chemistry and Pharmacology, Asiatic Pub., Delhi.  Dassanayaka MD, Forberg FR (1987) A revised handbook to the Flora of Ceylon Vol I-IV, Smithsonian Institute & National Science Foundation, Washington D.C., Amerig Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.  Jayaweera DMA, (2006) Medicinal Plants Used in Ceylon, Part 1–5, National Science Foundation, Sri Lanka.