BACKGROUND : Myrsine africana (MA) is a plant traditionally used in South
Africa to treat various diseases. OBJECTIVE : The ethanolic extract of MA,
was used for in vitro and in vivo studies to determine its elastase inhibitory
activity. MATERIALS AND METHODS : MA and its isolated compound,
myrsinoside B, were tested in vitro for their elastase inhibitory activity.
The MA extract was also evaluated for mutagenicity using two strains
of Salmonella typhimurium (TA 98 and TA 100), microbial count, metal
analysis, and stability. In vivo studies included irritancy and wrinkle
reduction trials using Visioscan and Visioface. RESULTS : The leaf extract
showed good elastase inhibition with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50)
of 28.04 µg/ml. Myrsinoside B inhibited the elastase enzyme at an IC50
of 4.68 ± 0.34 μg/ml. No colony growth observed during mutagenicity
studies and it was concluded that MA ethanolic extract is a nonmutagen.
MA extract was found to be a nonirritant during the patch test clinical trial.
MA was found to contain negligible amounts of microorganisms and heavy
metals. Gel cream containing MA crude extract was found to be stable for
2 years when kept at temperatures below 30°C. In clinical trials (in vivo), it
was found that the test product containing 5% ethanolic extract of MA was
effective in reducing wrinkles after application 2 times a day for 14 days
and 28 days compared to the placebo aqueous cream. CONCLUSION : MA is
effective in reducing the appearance of wrinkles.