Exploring Ethnopharmacology for Antidandruff Properties in Traditional Herbal Remedies of the Wayanad District Tribes, Kerala

Main Article Content

Shibu Prasanth CR, Lal Prasanth ML


Kerala the Southernmost state of India is known for its biodiversity reserve, high cultural heterogeneity and high rate of literacy.  Dandruff, a relatively common non-contagious hair condition, affects a majority of individuals, irrespective of their age. It is scientifically known as pityriasis simplex capillitii, a prevalent scalp disorder that is marked by the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp, causing itching and if untreated, leads to infections. The clinical application or medical use of zinc pyrithione,steroids,selenium sulphide, imidazole derivatives, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and coal tar derivatives can be  responsible for dandruff. However, it is primarily caused by the overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia, further associated with Propionibacterium acne and Staphylococcus epidermidis. The primary goal of this research was to conduct anti Dandruff activity through anti fungal , anti inflammatory and antioxidant  demonstrations, which prompted the current investigation by screening five Medicinal plants extracted from Wayanad, Kerala a place which serves as a dynamic reservoir of potentially valuable biodynamic compounds; the land of paddy fields. These extracts includes: Amla (Phyllanthus emblica L.), Neem Leaves (Azadirachta indica A. Juss), Patha leaves (Cyclea peltata), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis miller). These experiments were conducted in a potato dextrose agar medium. The strains of Candida albicans and  Malassezia furfur were used for the study of anti-fungal activity. Cyclea peltata showed the presence of the following phytochemicals : alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenoids, steroids, saponin, Gums and Mucilage, Tannins and Phenolic Compounds. The dried leaf samples were crushed in powdered form and were sequentially extracted with petroleum ether, chloroform, and methanol using a Soxhlet apparatus until the solvents became decolorized. In vitro anti-inflammatory study was carried out on the freeze  dried extracts by HRBC (Human Red Blood Cell) membrane stabilization test. For cross-examination, an antioxidant test was carried out for the freeze-dried extracts by scavenging activity of free radicals of DPPH. These leaf extracts are marked as a potential antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent for treatment of dandruff.

Article Details