Wound healing and the use of medicinal plants

Wound healing and the use of medicinal plants
Wound healing and the use of medicinal plants
Other Titles:
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Publication Date:
22 September 2019
Aleksandra Shedoeva, David Leavesley, Zee Upton, and Chen Fan, “Wound Healing and the Use of Medicinal Plants,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2019, Article ID 2684108, 30 pages, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/2684108.
Skin is the largest organ of the body, structurally complex, anatomically complicated, multi-functional, and easily injured. Yet, as the interface between the relative stability of our body interior and the dynamic and hostile external world, skin is absolutely critical to our survival. Consequently, robust and effective mechanisms have evolved to protect, maintain, repair and replace skin that is damaged, traumatized or lost. It is generally accepted that cutaneous wound healing can be divided into 4 phases: haemostasis, inflammation, proliferation and remodeling. Each phase comprises a complex series of overlapping events, orchestrated by several distinct cell populations. In humans, keratinocytes re-form a functional epidermis (re-epithelialization) as rapidly as possible, closing the wound and reestablishing tissue homeostasis. Dermal fibroblasts migrate into the wound bed and reproduce, creating ‘organised granulation tissue’ rich in extracellular matrix proteins and supporting the growth of new blood vessels. Ultimately this is remodelled over an extended period returning the injured tissue to a state similar to that it was before the injury. Dysregulation in any phase of the wound healing cascade delays healing and may result in skin pathology, including non-healing, or chronic, ulceration. Chronic ulcers and hard to heal wounds are a global clinical challenge and impose significant burdens on both individuals and their carers. Indigenous and traditional medicines make extensive use of natural products and derivatives of natural products, and provide more than half of all medicines consumed today throughout the world. For millions of people across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, traditional medicines are their primary source for wound care. Recognising the important role traditional medicine continues to play, we have undertaken an extensive survey of literature reporting the use of medical plants and plant-based products for cutaneous wounds. We describe the active ingredients, bioactivities, clinical uses, formulations, method of preparation and clinical value of 36 medical plant species. Several species stand out, including Centella asiatica, Curcuma longa and Paeonia suffruticosa, providing a basis for managing wound healing in by several cultures and ethnic groups. The popularity and evidence of continued use, clearly indicates that there are still lessons to be learned from traditional practices. Hidden in the myriad of natural products and derivatives from natural products are undescribed reagents, unexplored combinations and adjunct compounds that could have a place in the contemporary therapeutic inventory.
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