Screening of commonly used plant extracts in Jordanian skin lightening folkloric recipes for their tyrosinase inhibitory activity: An in vitro study


  • Saja Hamed
  • Fatma Afifi
  • Iman Mansi
  • Yasser Bustanji
  • Hatim Alkhatib


In Jordanian folkloric medicine, several medicinal plants–based recipes are used for skin lightening. Local recipes for skin lightening were collected and the tyrosinase inhibitory activity of the plants reported in these recipes, as a potential depigmentation mechanism was evaluated in vitro on both, mushroom and murine melanoma tyrosinase. The surveyed recipes included a total of 25 traditional medicinal plants belonging to 19 families. Kojic acid and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) extract were used as positive controls. Thirteen extracts exhibited good mushroom tyrosinase inhibitory potential (>70%), and 7 extracts showed moderate tyrosinase inhibition activity (30-70%) while 5 extracts showed poor mushroom tyrosinase inhibitory activity (<30%). Four of the tested extracts; Juniperus communis L. (Juniper), Rosa indica L. (Rose), Amygdalus communis var. amara L. (Bitter almond), and Carthamus tinctorius L. (Safflower) showed good inhibitory activity (>70%) against both, mushroom and melanoma tyrosinase enzymes that was similar or better than that of kojic acid. While, 6 tested extracts, obtained from Raphanus sativus L. (radish), Juniperus communis L. (juniper), Petroselinum sativum Hoffm. (parsely), Salvia triloba L. (sage), Viola odorata L. (garden violet), and Mentha piperita L. (mint), showed almost similar mushroom tyrosinase inhibitory activity as licorice extract (73.4%). Tyrosinase inhibitory activities observed in many of the tested plant extracts validate their traditional use.