Which plant for which skin disease? Part 2: Dermatophytes, chronic venous insufficiency, photoprotection, actinic keratoses, vitiligo, hair loss, cosmetic indications

J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2010 Nov;8(11):866-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1610-0387.2010.07472.x.
[Article in English, German]


This paper continues our review of scientifically evaluated plant extracts in dermatology. After plants effective against dermatophytes, botanicals with anti-edema effects in chronic venous insufficiency are discussed. There is good evidence from randomized clinical studies that plant extracts from grape vine leaves (Vitis vinifera), horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), sea pine (Pinus maritima) and butcher's broom (Ruscus aculeatus) can reduce edema in chronic venous insufficiency. Plant extracts from witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), green tea (Camellia sinensis), the fern Polypodium leucotomos and others contain antioxidant polyphenolic compounds that may protect the skin from sunburn and photoaging when administered topically or systemically. Extracts from the garden spurge (Euphorbia peplus) and from birch bark (Betula alba) have been shown to be effective in the treatment of actinic keratoses in phase II studies. Some plant extracts have also been investigated in the treatment of vitiligo, various forms of hair loss and pigmentation disorders, and in aesthetic dermatology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease / prevention & control
  • Cosmetics / classification
  • Cosmetics / therapeutic use
  • Dermatologic Agents / classification
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Dermatomycoses / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypotrichosis / prevention & control*
  • Keratosis, Actinic / drug therapy*
  • Plant Extracts / classification
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Sunscreening Agents / therapeutic use
  • Venous Insufficiency / drug therapy*
  • Vitiligo / drug therapy*


  • Cosmetics
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Sunscreening Agents