Intriguing Information About Pearls Used In Medicine and Cosmetics

Intriguing Information About Pearls Used In Medicine and Cosmetics

I just finished reading a paper published by the National Institutes of Health in May 2021. I had no idea that Pearl powder used in medicines and cosmetics has had such a long history and continues to develop much interest.

Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine have long advocated ingesting the marine treasures in pulverized form—not only for better looks, but as a tonic for everything from tuberculosis to eye disease to sexual dysfunction.

While there are many uses of pearl powder in cosmetics, (even Goop has a line they support), the more interesting is the study of pearl powder in biomedical applications. Because of the natural elements in pearls, studies are being conducted in applications of pearl powder in wound healing, bone repairing, treatment of skin conditions, and other health indications.

Calcium carbonate is the main ingredient in a pearl. "Animal studies have demonstrated that pearl powder has beneficial pharmacological effects such as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory (due to the magnesium that it possesses), anti-aging (through the stimulation of fibroblasts), immunomodulating, and wound healing". 

The biochemistry of medical applications of pearl powder are relatively new. Research has shown some promising advances in using pearl powder in wound healing, tissue engineering, and bone regeneration. There are active components in pearl powder that are beneficial for skin cell regeneration and therefore valuable for wound healing.

There are differences in the properties of the pearl powder from the actual pearl and the powder made from the mother of pearl or inside shell of a mollusk, Shel powder is much less expensive. The actual pearl powder has more of the healing properties and is the component that would be the most beneficial. But, most products on the market don't differentiate between the two. This makes it difficult to determine the benefits of any over the counter product. 

There is much promising information about the possibilities of pearl powder's success in biomedical applications, but so much more study has to be done to validate this work.

For those of you more chemically minded and interested, here is the link to the NIH article, 

I must say that the pearl powder I create when drilling my pearls will now be judiciously saved to powder my face. You might comment on my "glowing" skin when you next see me.

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