Essential in dentistry, skin care formulations in cosmetics. As

Essential Oils are basically
monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and diterpines which are formed by alcohols,
phenols, aldehydes, ester etc organic functional groups 31. EO’s single
handedly reduce the use of preservatives in formulation while they can show
antibacterial and anti-fungal activities 32, 33.

However, a systematic review undertaken by
Freires IA group (4) revealed that 22 and 40% of the studies on the anti-caries
activity of essential oils, natural products and their isolated constituents do
not report any chemical and botanical characterization data, respectively.

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This issue has raised concerns not only about
the scientific validation of the findings reported but also because this could
create a gap between the in vitro and
in vivo bioactivity identified and an
effective use of that information to develop novel drugs or formulations with
advantageous clinical efficacy and safety in humans. Although 49% of the new
chemotherapeutic drugs and 73% of the new anti-bacterial approved by the US
Food and Drug Administration are Natural Product or Natural Product-derived
drugs (3), a tremendous number of herbal molecules do not reach the minimum
requirements to be tested in and used by humans, particularly for oral care
product development. Jeon et al. (5) pointed out that most studies in caries
research have focused on general aspects (microbial inhibitory effects) rather
than addressing the actual pathological and physiological aspects of the
disease, which is biofilm-dependent and involves physicochemical processes of
tooth de- and re-mineralization. It seems consensual that there is a persistent
need for more potent, effective, low-cost, safe and well tolerated drugs and
oral care formulations in dentistry, skin care formulations in cosmetics. As
the years go by, a high number of studies concerning bioactivity of plant
extracts and isolated molecules with clinical interest have been published
worldwide. There have been reports on antibacterial, antifungal,
anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, saliva stimulant, anti-halitosis,
anti-caries, anti-ageing, anti elastase, low telomerase affectivity etc. properties of the most diverse
plant materials and molecules nature can provide.

Henceforth, the accurate mechanisms of exploit
and efficiency of the tested extracts/compounds remain fatally unknown until
further research—if relevant—is carried out. Another critical limitation lies
in the non-use of modern methods and technology, including bioinformatics,
identification of molecular targets in the human genome (6), high-throughput
screening and appropriate statistical models, among others. These tools allow
the researcher to comprehensively characterize the extract, fraction or
molecule prior to clinical testing concerning bioactivity, local or systemic
toxicity, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. As such, they may provide
consistent evidence on natural product effectiveness and safety along with
reduced financial burden and risk of failure at further stages.

India have a big spectrum of diverse phytodiversity
comprising plethora of medicinal plants like Turmeric, Manjistha, Chironji, Mulethi, Pudina, Tulsi, Neem, Aloe-vera,
Clove, Cinnamon, Bhringraj and Coleus etc.
These plants are been used since time immemorial to treat and cure many
diseases. Some of them also been used for beautification of human being
suggesting to the potential candidacy towards cosmetics. The isolation and
identification of the specific phytochemical molecules remain as a biggest
hurdle till today. The challenge get multifold when it’s being assigned to
determine the structure of novel molecule and assigning bioactivity against it
thru in vivo and in vitro lab tests.

Given these limitations, what has been the real
impact of natural product research on the oral health care and cosmetic
industry over the past years? How far has research led to novel natural product
based therapeutic modalities to monitor decision-making ability in dentistry
and cosmetic product, is still unidentified to the scientific world. Here I
propose my thesis work to bridge the gap between knowledge and formulation of
Indian Traditional Medicinal plants in oral healthcare and cosmetics.