Pyrostegia venusta as a folk medicine for vitiligo?

Pyrostegia Venusta Close UpPyrostegia venusta is a neotropical evergreen vine widely spread in Brazil throughout fields, at the coast, edge of the woods and along roadsides (see photo below). Popularly known as “flame vine” or “cipó-de-são-joão”, this species is cultivated due to its outstanding ornamental features and due its important therapeutic properties. 

P. venusta leaves and stems are used in traditional medicine as a tonic or antidiarrheal agent, while its flowers are used in the treatment of leucoderma and vitiligo. It is also used as anti-inflammatory medicine in cough, bronchitis, flu and cold. Extracts of flowers and roots of P. venusta contain significant amounts of phytochemicals with antioxidative properties that could act as inhibitors or scavengers of free radicals. It is a one of the most prolific of flavonoids. 

Although pre-clinical studies clearly demonstrate the antiinflammatory and hyperpigmentant activities of P. venusta, questions about it's in vivo efficacy remain unclear. In fact, many other melanogenesis stimulators found in the in vitro studies failed to show in vivo efficacy, probably because they could not reach outer skin cells from within because of the stratum corneum barrier. 

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