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The jarilla (Larrea divaricada), is a shrub that grows wild from the north to the south of Argentina and whose anti-inflammatory actions are popularly known, but its action against baldness has been discovered.
The medicinal properties of the jarilla have been known since the time of the original peoples, although today many ignore them. It was used for centuries for coughs, burns, cholera, and fever.
Jarilla plant extract is used in folk medicine for the treatment of many disorders as it has anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic properties (Ratera and Ratera, 1980) and has well-documented anti-tumor and immunomodulatory activities (Anesini, 1996; Anesini, 2001), anti-microbial properties (Anesini, Pérez, 1993 2006), demonstrated antioxidant activity (Anesini 2004) and anti-inflammatory action (Davicino et al, 2015).
The research began twelve years ago with the aim of finding plants with antitumor properties, among others. However, popular knowledge made scientists' interest change course and this is how the find came about.
"In 2006 we were characterizing various medicinal plants to carry out pharmacological studies," explained Dr. Claudia Anesini, a researcher at the Institute of Chemistry and Drug Metabolism, dependent on Conicet. Anesini said that to discover these hidden properties of the jarilla the key was to listen to the local people. "After hearing local anecdotes about other uses, we began to study its anti-inflammatory properties and found that it served to stop and reverse hair loss," said the scientist.
Currently, scientists from the Conicet (National Council for Scientific and Technical Research) studied this bush to validate what the ancestors said, and they realized that they were right.
The researcher Claudia Anesini and her team determined that, among other things, the old and beloved jarilla ends with baldness. Now the Garré Guevara Laboratory began with the production of the anti-baldness shampoo line, officially presented in the United Kingdom.
Cristian Desmarchelier, scientist at CONICET and one of those responsible for this development, stressed that “a genetic resource that apparently had no value, such as that of the, was put into value and was transformed into a premium product thanks to science and technology ”.
How does it work
The Jarilla extract demonstrated the induction of hair growth by stimulating the anagen phase in relation to a modulating effect on fibroblast proliferation, modulation of cytokine synthesis and antioxidant activity (Davicino, Alonso, Anesini, 2010).
Alopecia is one of the most widespread diseases around the world. According to epidemiological data, about a third of thirty-year-old men suffer from some degree of baldness and the percentage rises to half when the age is around five decades. Women, although to a lesser extent, are affected by this reality.
While the problem sounds purely aesthetic, it is a subject with enough weight of its own that there are already at least two synthetic molecules on the market to treat baldness. The product developed by Conicet is a phytocosmetic of natural origin that does not cause side effects, so it can be used by all people.
According to the studies published in this regard, the best results found a decrease in hair loss in the age group between 31 and 45 years, when the treatment is used in the initial stage.
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