Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract


Plant extracts

Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract at a glance

  • Delivers skin-soothing, antioxidant properties
  • Shows promise for correcting the look of discolourations (i.e. hyperpigmentation and dark spots)
  • Source of amino acids that can be beneficial for skin
  • The plant itself has a long history of use in ayurvedic practices and traditional medicine
  • Water soluble

Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract description

_Boerhavia diffusa_ root extract comes from the plant family _Nyctaginaceae_. While the plant itself has a long history of use in ayurvedic practices and traditional medicine, less has been known about its proven topical benefits for skin until more recent years. Of note, studies show the root extract possesses skin-soothing properties and antioxidant capabilities. Boeravinone B, a component of _Boerhaavia diffusa_ root extract, also shows promise for correcting the look of skin discolourations (i.e. hyperpigmentation and dark spots) for a more uniform complexion. To achieve this benefit, it is recommended that _Boerhaavia diffusa_ root extract be used in 1-3% concentration. Other potentially beneficial compounds of _Boerhavia diffusa_ root extract include its amino acids (alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, proline, serine, and glycine just to name a few) which help contribute to skin’s natural moisturising factor (NMF), key to balanced hydration. While official research on _Boerhavia diffusa_ root extract’s safety as a cosmetic ingredient is lacking, its track record of research for safe oral administration is a good sign. Note: _Boerhavia diffusa_ also goes by the spelling of _Boerhaavia diffusa_. It is sometimes referred to by its Sanskrit name of “punarnava”. The plant can be found in the tropics and subtropics but is native to India. The roots of _Boerhavia diffusa_ are woody, with a pale yellow to brown colour.

Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract references

  • Plant Archives, 2020, pages 1,217-1,223
  • The Journal of Phytopharmacology, April 2016, pages 83-92
  • BioMed Research International, May 2014, pages 1-19
  • Cosmetics & Toiletries, November 2012, ePublication
  • Asian Agri-History, 2006, pages 1-11
  • Food and Chemical Toxicology, August 2009, pages 2142-2149
  • Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, December 1999, pages 5239-5244
  • Phytochemical Analysis, November-December 2005, pages 451-548

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.