The effect of antioxidant and whitening action on Plantago asiatica L. leaf ethanol extract for health care

Technol Health Care. 2019;27(5):567-577. doi: 10.3233/THC-191744.


Background: The Plantago asiatica L. is easy to cultivate and has been used as a folk remedy since ancient times because of various pharmacological actions such as anti-inflammation and antioxidation. It also contains a variety of flavonoids such as aucubin, which is thought to be excellent for whitening, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action.

Objective: We investigated the effect of P. asiatica L. leaf ethanol extracts containing various active ingredients on antioxidative, anti-inflammation and whitening action and investigated its potential as a health care material. P. asiatica L. has been widely used in folk remedies.

Results: The cell toxicity test using RAW264.7 cells showed a high cell survival rate of over 75%, thus demonstrating the safety of the sample. In order to study the antioxidant activity of P. asiatica L. leaf ethanol extracts, we studied a sample which showed radical scavenging activity in a dose-dependent manner. To observe the antioxidant activity at the cell level, RAW 264.7 cells were used and inhibition of ROS production was measured. The ROS production was suppressed in a dose-dependent manner and the scavenging activity was stronger than the sample's own radical scavenging ability. To observe the anti-inflammatory effect of P. asiatica L. leaf ethanol extracts, inhibition of NO generation was observed using LPS-induced RAW 264.7 cells. NO generation was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner and was strongly inhibited by 31% at 100 μg/mL. In vitro, L-DOPA and L-tyrosine were used to inhibit tyrosinase action in a dose-dependent manner. The concentration of melanin at 1, 10, and 100 μg/mL was suppressed in B16 F10 melanin cells supplemented with α-MSH in the cells, and the inhibition was suppressed to 29% at 100 μg/mL. In the B16 F10 melanin cell stimulated with MSH, the P. asiatica L. leaf ethanol extracts inhibited melanin formation in a dose-dependent manner.

Conclusion: P. asiatica L. leaf ethanol extracts are expected to be developed as whitening cosmeceutical ingredients and as health care ingredients with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Keywords: Plantago asiatica L; anti-oxidative activity; cosmeceutical; healthcare.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cell Survival
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Melanins / biosynthesis
  • Mice
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / biosynthesis
  • Nitric Oxide / biosynthesis
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plantago*
  • RAW 264.7 Cells
  • Skin Lightening Preparations / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Melanins
  • Plant Extracts
  • Skin Lightening Preparations
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase