Mother Nature may have a natural Botox alternative—maple leaf extract. According to a study presented by researchers at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, an extract from maple leaves may prevent wrinkles. The same group of scientists have previously studied the chemistry and benefits of syrup and sap from red maple trees.
According to Navindra P. Seeram, PhD, the project’s principal investigator, “Native Americans used leaves from red maple trees in their traditional system of medicine, so why should we ignore the leaves?”
Their research found that maple leaves contain a phenolic compound known as glucitol-core-containing gallotannins (GCGs), which can inhibit elastase activity when used on the skin. To study this effect, the scientists looked at how the GCGs do this via a test tube. Besides their blocking ability, these compounds could potentially also protect skin from inflammation and hyperpigmentation.
“You could imagine that these extracts might tighten up human skin like a plant-based Botox, though they would be a topical application, not an injected toxin,” Seeram says.
The researchers have developed a patent-pending formulation containing GCG’s from maple leaves and sap, which they named Maplifa, that has been licensed to botanical extracts supplier Verdure Sciences.
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