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Pringle, Nadine A.; Koekemoer, Trevor C.; Holzer, Andrea; Young, Carly; Venables, Luanne; Venter, Maryna van de (2018): Potential Therapeutic Benefits of Green and Fermented Rooibos ( Aspalathus linearis ) in Dermal Wound Healing. In: Planta Medica, Vol. 84, No. 9-10
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Abstract

The process of wound healing constitutes an ordered sequence of events that provides numerous opportunities for therapeutic intervention to improve wound repair. Rooibos, Aspalathus linearis , is a popular ingredient in skin care products, however, little scientific data exists exploring its therapeutic potential. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of fermented and aspalathin-enriched green rooibos in various in vitro models representative of dermal wound healing. Treatment of RAW 264.7 macrophages with fermented rooibos resulted in increased nitric oxide production as well as increased levels of cellular inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2, which are typical markers for classically activated macrophages. In contrast, the green extract was devoid of such activity. Using glycated gelatin as a model to mimic diabetic wounds, only the green extract showed potential to reduce cyclooxygenase-2 levels. Considering the role of reactive oxygen species in wound healing, the effects of rooibos on oxidative stress and cell death in human dermal fibroblasts was evaluated. Both fermented and green rooibos decreased cellular reactive oxygen species and attenuated apoptotic/necrotic cell death. Our findings highlight several properties that support the therapeutic potential of rooibos, and demonstrate that green and fermented rooibos present distinctly different properties with regards to their application in wound healing. The proinflammatory nature of fermented rooibos may have therapeutic value for wounds characterised with a delayed initial inflammatory phase, such as early diabetic wounds. The green extract is more suited to wounds burdened with excessive inflammation as it attenuated cyclooxygenase-2 levels and effectively protected fibroblasts against oxidative stress.