Exploration of nutraceutical potential of herbal oil formulated from parasitic plant

Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2013 Nov 2;11(1):78-86. eCollection 2014.


Background: Cuscuta reflexa (C. reflexa) is a parasitic climber of medicinal importance. The present study was aimed to evaluate the nutraceutical potential of C. reflexa stems collected from different hosts and to evaluate the role of the herbal formulation in dandruff, hair fall control as well as hair growth promoter.

Materials and methods: Hair formulations of C. reflexa collected from different host plants were prepared in the form of herbal oils (10% w/v). C. reflexa stems were extracted using mustard oil as base oil by using direct boiling technique. Prepared oil was studied as hair tonic. The experimental protocols used were anti-dandruff hair growth activity, as well as hair fall reduction. Herbal hair oils versus mustard oil were evaluated by applying oils on human volunteers with hair fall and dandruff problem whereas promotion of hair growth activity was conducted on rats. The formulated oils were also characterised for proximate analysis, physiochemical composition, as well as antimicrobial activity.

Result: The test oils of C. reflexa collected from Azadiracta indica and Zizyphus jujuba were effective in the promotion of hair growth, dandruff control, as well as reduction in hair fall activity.

Conclusion: All the formulated oils showed potent antimicrobial activity against all selected strains of bacteria and fungi.

Keywords: Combing assay; Cuscuta reflexa; Dandruff; Hair fall; Hair growth activity; Herbal hair oil; host plants.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alopecia
  • Animals
  • Cuscuta*
  • Dandruff / drug therapy*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Hair / drug effects*
  • Hair / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mustard Plant
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Oils
  • Plant Stems
  • Rats
  • Young Adult
  • Ziziphus


  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Oils
  • mustard oil