Essential Oils are basicallymonoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and diterpines which are formed by alcohols,phenols, aldehydes, ester etc organic functional groups 31. EO’s singlehandedly reduce the use of preservatives in formulation while they can showantibacterial and anti-fungal activities 32, 33. However, a systematic review undertaken byFreires IA group (4) revealed that 22 and 40% of the studies on the anti-cariesactivity of essential oils, natural products and their isolated constituents donot report any chemical and botanical characterization data, respectively.This issue has raised concerns not only aboutthe scientific validation of the findings reported but also because this couldcreate a gap between the in vitro andin vivo bioactivity identified and aneffective use of that information to develop novel drugs or formulations withadvantageous clinical efficacy and safety in humans. Although 49% of the newchemotherapeutic drugs and 73% of the new anti-bacterial approved by the USFood and Drug Administration are Natural Product or Natural Product-deriveddrugs (3), a tremendous number of herbal molecules do not reach the minimumrequirements to be tested in and used by humans, particularly for oral careproduct development.
Jeon et al. (5) pointed out that most studies in cariesresearch have focused on general aspects (microbial inhibitory effects) ratherthan addressing the actual pathological and physiological aspects of thedisease, which is biofilm-dependent and involves physicochemical processes oftooth de- and re-mineralization. It seems consensual that there is a persistentneed for more potent, effective, low-cost, safe and well tolerated drugs andoral care formulations in dentistry, skin care formulations in cosmetics. Asthe years go by, a high number of studies concerning bioactivity of plantextracts and isolated molecules with clinical interest have been publishedworldwide. 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 diverseplant materials and molecules nature can provide.
Henceforth, the accurate mechanisms of exploitand efficiency of the tested extracts/compounds remain fatally unknown untilfurther research—if relevant—is carried out. Another critical limitation liesin the non-use of modern methods and technology, including bioinformatics,identification of molecular targets in the human genome (6), high-throughputscreening and appropriate statistical models, among others. These tools allowthe researcher to comprehensively characterize the extract, fraction ormolecule prior to clinical testing concerning bioactivity, local or systemictoxicity, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. As such, they may provideconsistent evidence on natural product effectiveness and safety along withreduced financial burden and risk of failure at further stages. India have a big spectrum of diverse phytodiversitycomprising 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 manydiseases. Some of them also been used for beautification of human beingsuggesting to the potential candidacy towards cosmetics. The isolation andidentification of the specific phytochemical molecules remain as a biggesthurdle till today.
The challenge get multifold when it’s being assigned todetermine the structure of novel molecule and assigning bioactivity against itthru in vivo and in vitro lab tests. Given these limitations, what has been the realimpact of natural product research on the oral health care and cosmeticindustry over the past years? How far has research led to novel natural productbased therapeutic modalities to monitor decision-making ability in dentistryand cosmetic product, is still unidentified to the scientific world. Here Ipropose my thesis work to bridge the gap between knowledge and formulation ofIndian Traditional Medicinal plants in oral healthcare and cosmetics.