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Effets Ashitaba sur verrues et cors aux pieds.

Warts and corns on the feet: what are the effects of Ashitaba extract?

Known for increasing longevity, Ashitaba, native to Japan, is also said to help combat corns and foot warts. But what is the reality?

Summary
Published February 8, 2024, by Manon, Head of Scientific Communication — 5 min read

Warts: How do they form?

Plantar warts are a common, benign and contagious infection. They present as a skin outgrowth that typically appears on the sole of the foot. This type of skin lesion has a rough appearance, is round in shape and whitish in colour. It only measures a few millimetres in diameter.

The myrmecia is the most common type. These are plantar warts that develop individually and are often deep and painful. They are surrounded by a thick ring of hyperkeratosis, have black dots in the centre and can bleed. On the other hand, the mosaic warts are shallow and painless. These are plaques formed by the coalescence of several closely spaced warts. They only affect the superficial layers of the epidermis.

In terms of their origin, warts are caused by human papillomavirus type 1 or 2 (HPV). The transmission occurs:

  • Through direct contact between your skin and that of an infected individual;

  • Through indirect contact with contaminated objects, such as shoes or socks belonging to a person with plantar warts;

  • By self-contagion. If you do not wash your hands after touching a wart, you can spread the human papillomavirus to other areas of your body.

Please be aware that this microorganism thrives in warm and humid environments such as communal showers, swimming pools, or public changing rooms.

Why do corns appear on the feet?

Corns are characterised by hard bumps located on the soles of the feet or a soft skin outgrowth between the toes (also known as a soft corn). They appear in areas exposed to repeated friction or excessive pressure. These aggressions prompt skin cells (keratinocytes) to produce more keratin in order to protect the skin, which results in its thickening.

Firstly, dead skin cells accumulate in the form of a cone. This then penetrates into the deep skin tissues, exerting pressure on the nerve endings. This sometimes causes a sensation of discomfort, or even pain.

Certain factors also promote the occurrence of corns, namely:

  • Extended wear of pointed shoes or those equipped with high heels;

  • Frequently walking barefoot;

  • Not wearing socks;

  • Maintaining a standing position for an extended period;

  • Engaging in intense or repeated exercises.

Finally, ageing is a risk factor. As the epidermis becomes thin with age, corns form under the feet.

The Ashitaba Extract: What effects does it have on warts and corns on the feet?

TheAshitaba has been cultivated in Japan for millennia as a medicinal plant. This plant is also known as the "tomorrow leaf", as the harvested foliage is quickly replaced by new buds. The sap extracted from its stems is rich in chalcones.

Studies have suggested that this active ingredient couldinhibit microbial proliferation. Indeed, an extract from Ashitaba root has been found to inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, a Gram-positive bacterium responsible for skin infections. An analysis identified that two chalcones possessed such properties: xanthoangelol and 4-hydroxyderricin. Thus, Ashitaba extract could help combat infections such as foot warts.

Furthermore, certain chalcones found in the sap extracted from the stems of the Ashitaba plant confer anti-inflammatory properties. Anti-inflammatory. Studies have tested the inhibitory activity of several compounds against protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), a protein that can be involved in an inflammatory process and is activated by inflammatory factors, such as TNF-α. Among these compounds, six chalcones, xanthoangelol K, xanthoangelol, xanthoangelol F, 4-hydroxyderricin, xanthoangelol D, xanthoangelol E, methoxsalen and a coumarin, have shown a strong inhibitory effect on PTP1B. Thus, the extract of Ashitaba could help to soothe any inflammation caused by lesions, such as warts or corns, and calm the skin.

However, the scientific literature remains silent on the effect of Ashitaba extract on warts or corns. Therefore, we advise you to use this plant extract in addition to a specialised treatment for warts and corns.

Sources

  • LI J. & al. PTP1B inhibitors from stems of Angelica keiskei (Ashitaba). Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters (2015).

  • CAESAR L. K. & al. A review of the medicinal uses and pharmacology of Ashitaba. Planta Medica (2016).

  • CAESAR L. K. & al. An integrated approach for assessing antimicrobial constituents from Angelica keiskei Koidzumi. Planta Medica (2016).

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