- Aging & Longevity
Plant Stem Cell Therapy - the New Anti aging Treatment
Lilac Leaves Are Used to Harvest Stem Cells
What Are Stem Cells?
Aging or senescence is an unavoidable phenomenon. Every being that has life, be that a plant, an animal, or a human being, has to witness the aging process.
Human body is mainly composed of highly specialized and differentiated cells, each of which has been assigned a specific role for normal functioning of the entire body.
There are certain cells that are plueripotent (literally meaning, capable of doing everything) that is, they can evolve into any of the differentiated, specialized cell types and take over their functions, as and when the need arises. These are the Stem Cells.
There are two basic types of stem cells, which include the following :
- Embryonic Stem Cells - These are present when child is in the mother's womb in the developing or embryonic stage. These cells have a huge regeneration potential to evolve into a differentiated cell type found anywhere in the body.
- Adult Stem Cells - These cells play an active role in maintenance and repair process. They have a more limited capacity to modify into cell types found in the specific structures and organs where they are located.
There are three known accessible sources of autologous adult stem cells in our body, which include the following :
- Bone marrow
- Adipocytes (requiring extraction by liposuction)
A Word About Our Own Skin Stem Cells
Skin is the largest organ of our body, as well as a storehouse of adult stem cells in the body. Our skin renews itself every 28 days throughout adult life, during which process the cells of the uppermost layer or Stratum corneum are shed off and those of Stratum basale or the germinative layer move upwards.
There are four basic types of stem cells found in human skin, which include the following :
- Epidermal Stem Cells - These are found in the lowermost or basal layer of epidermis, and are meant for repair and regeneration.
- Hair Follicle Stem Cells - These are found near the roots of hair follicles, and are meant for their renewal process. They can also regenerate the entire epidermis and sebaceous or oil glands if the need arises.
- Melanocyte Stem Cells - These help in the regeneration of melanocytes. It is not yet clear that whether they are found in humans or not.
- Mesenchymal Stem Cells - These are found in the dermis and hypodermis.
These cells remain in a quiescent or resting stage, until any disease or injury occurs and our body sends them signals to initiate repair.
Discovered by Professor Howard Green in the United States, epidermal stem cells can be taken from an individual, multiplied and used to grow sheets of epidermis in the laboratory. The new epidermis can then be transplanted back in the same person as a skin graft. This is of great value in people suffering from third degree burns.
Principle Of Plant Stem Cell Therapy
Plants have stem cells that get activated by epigenetic factors and signals from the surrounding cells. Each plant derived adult stem cell possesses the ability to generate a whole new plant.
All plants have stem cells that are localized in a special structure called meristem. This meristem is found near the root tip as Root Apical Meristem (RAM), in the bark as Shoot Apical Meristem (SAM), and in vascular system procambium as Vascular Meristem. These pleuripotent cells carry the entire DNA expression of that plant, and can modify into any cell type, as need arises,
These plant stem cells, when applied to skin, protect our skin stem cells from damage and stimulate the growth of new cells. They activate the skin stem cells to divide into two cell types, which include the following :
- A new similar stem cell.
- A daughter cell which is able to create almost every cell type in that specialized system.
On receiving a proper stimulus, the skin cells will produce phospholipids, collagen proteins, and hyaluronic acid to repair fine lines and wrinkles,and restore and maintain firmness and elasticity.
Other Substances That Stimulate Skin Stem Cells
This enzyme, when applied in a suitable base on to the aging skin, is able to activate dormant stem cells to produce new skin cells, thus removing fine lines and wrinkles, and rejuvenating the skin to make the face look younger by at least 5-10 years.
Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)
This is another ingredient in the list of anti aging substances. This is normally released in our body in response to injury and stimulates repair. When EGF synthesized in the laboratory is applied to burns and wounds, it dramatically accelerates the healing process.
Technique of Harvesting Stem cells From the Plants
In this procedure, a small amount of viable biomass is obtained from the source plant. This material is termed the explant.
Next this biomass is chopped into tiny pieces and placed in a culture medium. This injury to the plant acts as a stimulus causing the cells around the wound to de-differentiate and revert back into stem cells, and form a colorless mass called the callus.
The slowly dividing cells of the callus are undifferentiated, and lack the characteristics of normal plant cells. They are unprogrammed and can change into any specialized cell type.
This callus is used to harvest stem cells and their active phyto chemical substances.
Apples In Anti aging Creams
Swiss Apple Stem Cells
A special variety of apples (Malus domestica) were grown in Switzerland in middle of the 18th century that could be stored for extended periods of time, for around four months after being harvested.
Despite its long shelf life, this apple did not gain popularity due to its peculiar tart taste. So the trees rapidly reduced in number. In a certain isolated area of Northern Switzerland, a few of these apple trees still survive in the orchards.
Better known as "Uttwiler Spatlauber" apple, this super apple is believed to be the new "fountain of youth". If the tree bark or skin of an unpicked fruit is punctured, it heals on its own.
A solution containing 1% apple stem cells can boost production of human stem cells by up to 80%. It protects the epidermal stem cells against ultra violet radiation and promotes self renewal capacity of the skin.
Creams containing 2% extract when applied twice a day, lead to a significant reduction in the appearance of Crow's feet and improve the vitality of skin.
This extract also contains epigenetic factors and metabolites that help combat chronological aging.
Edelweiss Stem Cells Prevent Collagen Degradation
Edelweiss or Leontopodium alpinum Stem Cells
Edelweiss plant stem cells extracted for topical use have the same protective substances that the plant uses to defend itself against harsh climatic conditions.
It grows naturally in the Alpine region of Europe. The leaves and petals (actually thick leaves or bracts) are covered with white hair that protect the plant from damaging ultra violet rays of sun (that are very strong on mountain peaks) without hampering the ability to absorb visible light.
Edelweiss stem cells produce a number of actives that protect our skin against uv induced photo aging. They also contain a high concentration of Leontopodic acids A and B that have strong antioxidant properties.
Serum or creams containing these plant stem cell extracts stimulate our own aging skin stem cells, increase collagen and hyaluronic acid (the natural filler substance) synthesis, reduce skin damage, and reduce the appearance of unsightly wrinkles.
Lilac Leaf Stem Cells
Extracts containing Lilac Stem Cells have antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. They inhibit the 5-alpha reductase enzyme involved in the production of sebum or natural oil on the skin, and reduce the synthesis of inflammatory mediators such as Interleukin-8. The active chemical substance being verbascoside, these stem cells are very useful for the treatment of acne vulgaris or pimples.
Argan Root Stem Cells
Argan tree is a native of Morocco, and along with providing the treasured Argan oil, it is also popular for stem cells harvested from its roots. These cells are capable of protecting and revitalizing cells of the dermis of skin. They not only accelerate the repair process, but also prevent new damage due to environmental pollution, sun rays etc.
Date Palm Stem Cells
Date Palm tree has the ability to thrive in dry, arid regions, to remain hydrated and conserve water. These same properties are utilized by Date Stem Cells that help keep the skin moisturized and hydrated.
Other Plants Being Investigated For Extracting Stem Cells
- Orange Stem Cells - These help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, increase elasticity and firmness of skin, and stimulate collagen synthesis.
- Grape Stem Cells - These protect our skin from environmental stress.
- Echinacea Stem Cells - These improve hydration and elasticity of skin.
- Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) - These stem cells help in restructuring the skin, reduce appearance of stretch marks, have anti cellulite effect, and support a good blood vessel tone.