Identification of Bakuchiol
Bakuchiol is a meroterpene (a chemical compound having a partial terpenoid structure) in the class terpenophenol.
It was first isolated in 1966 by Mehta et al. from Babchi seed and was called Bakuchiol based on the sanskrit name Bakuchi of the plant. Bakuchiol is mainly obtained from the seeds of the plant Psoralea corylifolia, a plant used in the Ayurveda and Chinese systems of traditional medicine. The seeds of this plant contain a variety of coumarins, including psoralen. which is widely used in Indian as well as in Chinese medicine to treat a variety of diseases.
What is Bakuchiol?
The plant where Bakuchiol comes from, the Psoralea Corylifolia, is endemic to certain Asian countries such as India Himalayan regions of Pakistan and China. It is a wild species that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
It is is a wild leguminous plant that grows from 60-100 cm and takes 7 to 8 months to reach maturity.
The seeds that contain Bakuchiol are wild harvested between December and March.
The Psoralea Corylifolia plant is part of ‘The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India’ (Part- I Volume – I) published by Department of Ayush, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. This plant is also listed as ‘Common Medicinal Plants of Ayurveda’ at National Health Portal.
The whole plant is used to treat various conditions like laxative, aphrodisiac, and diuretic. But the seeds, commonly called babchi seeds have significant medicinal properties in particular for skin diseases. It has been used both topically and internally to treat leucoderma or psoriasis or leprosy.
Bakuchiol in Cosmetics
In Cosmetics, the Babchi seeds extract cannot be used due to the presence of phototoxic phytocompounds. Although bakuchiol has shown many physiological properties and has been known for well over 45 years, its first commercial use in topical applications did not occur until 2007 when it was introduced to the market under the trade name Sytenol® A, a 99% purity bakuchiol. Free from unwanted compounds, it is the only version of Bakuchiol registered by REACH (EC # 685-515-4), the regulation of the European Union, aiming to improve the protection of human health and the environment notably in cosmetics.
Bakuchiol is not a plant extract, it is obtained through a monomolecular extraction from the Babchi seeds, which means we only extract one molecule, Bakuchiol with over 99% purity