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Houttuynia Cordata Extract

What-it-does: antioxidant, soothing


Houttuynia cordata is a flowering plant native to Southeast Asia. It is eaten as a leaf vegetable, and also has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, including as an attempted treatment for SARS (it didn’t really work). Regarding cosmetics, however, houttuynia cordata extract has a good bit of potential! 

The main active components in the plant are these fancy chemicals called flavonoids. Houttuynia cordata specifically has a good amount of polyphenolic flavonoids, four common ones being quercetin, quercitrin, hyperoside, and rutin. All of these exhibit anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties. Quercitrin has also been shown to decrease damage from UVB rays, which is an added bonus. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the flavonoid content of this extract can depend on if the extract is taken from the roots or the leaves, as well as if it’s a water extraction or an alcohol extraction.

Another thing Houttuynia cordata extract contains are polysaccharides, i.e. big molecules from various sugar units (in this case it is galacturonic acid (29.4%), galactose (24.0%), rhamnose (17.2%), arabinose (13.5%), glucuronic acid (6.8%), glucose (5.3%), xylose (2.1%) and mannose (1.8%) ). Polysaccharides and sugars in skincare are excellent humectants and skin hydrators, meaning they help the skin to hold onto water.

Last but not least, we also found an in-vitro (made in test tubes) study showing that houttuynia cordata extract had strong anti-allergic effects and could be helpful in treating skin allergies such as eczema (atopic dermatitis).

Show me some proof

  • Kumar, Manish, Satyendra K. Prasad, and S. Hemalatha. 2014. “A Current Update on the Phytopharmacological Aspects of Houttuynia Cordata Thunb.” Pharmacognosy Reviews 8 (15): 22–35.
  • Lee, Ji-Sook, In Sik Kim, Joo-Hwan Kim, Jin Sook Kim, Dong-Hee Kim, and Chi-Young Yun. 2008. “Suppressive Effects of Houttuynia Cordata Thunb (Saururaceae) Extract on Th2 Immune Response.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 117 (1): 34–40.
  • Meng, Jiang, Kelvin Sze-Yin Leung, Zhihong Jiang, Xiaoping Dong, Zhongzhen Zhao, and Li-Jia Xu. 2005. “Establishment of HPLC-DAD-MS Fingerprint of Fresh Houttuynia Cordata.” Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 53 (12): 1604–9.
  • Tian, Lingmin, Yan Zhao, Chao Guo, and Xingbin Yang. 2011. “A Comparative Study on the Antioxidant Activities of an Acidic Polysaccharide and Various Solvent Extracts Derived from Herbal Houttuynia Cordata.” Carbohydrate Polymers 83 (2): 537–44.
  • Wang, Kuo-Hsien, Rong-Dih Lin, Feng-Lin Hsu, Yen-Hua Huang, Hsien-Chang Chang, Ching-Yi Huang, and Mei-Hsien Lee. 2006. “Cosmetic Applications of Selected Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicines.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 106 (3): 353–59.
  • Zhang, Ying, Shu-fen Li, and Xi-wen Wu. 2008. “Pressurized Liquid Extraction of Flavonoids from Houttuynia Cordata Thunb.” Separation and Purification Technology 58 (3): 305–10.
  • Yin, Yuanqin, Wenqi Li, Young-Ok Son, Lijuan Sun, Jian Lu, Donghern Kim, Xin Wang, et al. 2013. “Quercitrin Protects Skin from UVB-Induced Oxidative Damage.” Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 269 (2): 89–99.

Products with Houttuynia Cordata Extract

Abib Heartleaf Essence Calming Pump Abib Heartleaf Essence Calming Pump Abib Mild Acidic Ph Sheet Mask Heartleaf Fit Abib Mild Acidic Ph Sheet Mask Heartleaf Fit All Natural Houttuynia Cordata Care Serum All Natural Houttuynia Cordata Care Serum All Natural Houttuynia Cordata Care Toner All Natural Houttuynia Cordata Cotton Toner Pad All Natural Moisture Care Cream Anua Heartleaf 70 Daily Lotion Anua Heartleaf 70 Intense Calming Cream Anua Heartleaf 70% Daily Relief Lotion Anua Heartleaf 70% Daily Relief Lotion Anua Heartleaf 70% Soothing Cream Anua Heartleaf 77 Soothing Sheet Mask Anua Heartleaf 77% Clear Pad Anua Heartleaf 77% Soothing Toner Anua Heartleaf 77% Soothing Toner - Korean version Anua Heartleaf 78% Soothing Cream Anua Heartleaf 80 Moisture Soothing Ampoule Mask Anua Heartleaf Gentle Facial Cleanser Anua Heartleaf Quercetinol Pore Deep Cleansing Foam Anua Heartleaf Soothing Ampoule Barr Deep Energy Ampoule Barr Super Green Deep Energy Cream By Ecom Heartleaf Ampoule By Ecom Heartleaf Poreless Cream By Ecom Heartleaf Purifying Mask By Wishtrend Polyphenol In Propolis 15% Ampoule Cosnori Heartleaf Calming Ampoule Daymellow Houttuynia Cordata Real Soothing Gel Derma Factory Houttuynia Cordata 65% Suncream SPF50+ Pa+++ Derma Factory Houttuynia Cordata 71% Cream Derma Factory Houttuynia Cordata 84% Essence Toner Dr. G R.E.D Blemish Clear Soothing Active Essence Goodal Houttuynia Cordata Calming Moisture Cream Goodal Houttuynia Cordata Calming Moisture Serum Goodal Houttuynia Cordata Calming Sunscreen Cream Hanskin Houttuynia Cordata Hanskin Soonhan Houttuynia Ampoule Heveblue Penta Berry Panthenol Repair Peel Pad MARY & MAY Houttuynia Cordata + Tea Tree Cleansing Foam MARY & MAY Houttuynia Cordata + Tea Tree Serum MARY & MAY Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream Manyo Factory Our Vegan Heartleaf 98 Cica Serum Manyo Factory Zaodam Eosongcho Pack MiiN Houttuynia Cordata Sheet Mask ONE THING Houttuynia Cordata Extract Ongredients Balancing Skin Softener Skin&Lab Tricicabarrier Calming Ampoule