Silk extract - mysterious as the silk itself
Sometimes, to make a sensational discovery you need to do nothing else but to sit in your garden waiting for the discovery to fall from a tree in the form of an apple ... or a caterpillar.
A legend tells how 5,000 years ago, while the Chinese empress was resting under the shade of a mulberry tree in her cup of tea plopped a caterpillar wrapped in skilfully spun cocoon. The Empress was so impressed by the fine threads that decided to take advantage of the skills of the small spinners, hidden among the mulberry leaves. Thus, she set the begining of sericulture.
Although other types of insect weave cocoons too, when it comes to silk we mean the fiber produced by the butterfly - Bombyx mori. It represents a protein thread made of fibroin and sericin.
Originally silk was used for the production of luxurious fabrics with exquisite shine and softness. The Chinese were its only producers and death penalty threatened anyone who dares to reveal to the rest of the world the secret of its production (not coincidentally China maintained its absolute monopoly for millennia, and silk - its extremely high price).
At a later stage, people start to use the silk outside the textile industry - in the medical field (including aestetic medicine) and cosmetics. For the new purposes is used mainly a silk extract, obtained by soaking the silk cocoons.
In the past, the fibers served as surgical sutures, and today they are boldly used for the needs of tissue engineering - for reconstruction of the human musculoskeletal system and for making organs and tissues for transplantation.
Silk extract helps to relieve inflammation and redness and is often added to baby diapers and cosmetics. It is extremely useful for maintaining the female comfort - it cools the hot flushes during the menopause, prevents infections in the intimate area, soothes the irritated skin of nursing mothers.
There is evidence that silk protein has antioxidant properties. Besides it protects the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals, it also contributes to the preservation of the youthful skin, slowing the aging process.
Sleeping on silk pillow prevents the formation of wrinkles during the night and is among the beauty rituals of many Hollywood stars. The silk extract is successfully used in anti-aging cosmetics and aesthetic medicine to smooth already formed wrinkles. With its help, the ladies can acquire tempting thicker lips, as well.
Silk has the ability to absorb moisture that is almost 30% of its own weight, which makes it an excellent ingredient for hydrating the skin and hair - hydration, which is not only visible, but also tangible.
The fibers woven by the silkworm have the shape of a triangular prism with rounded edges. It reflects the light very well and added to shampoos, conditioners and hair dyes gives an irresistible shine to the hair. In addition, silk extract smoothes the hair and brings a sense of order and refined style.
It was found that silk has the ability to absorb the ultraviolet radiation, protecting the skin from damage and undesired pigmentation. It is even able to lighten existing pigmented spots.
Silk extract has extremely broad application in the modern world. Mysterious as the silk itself, it keeps secrets that are waiting to be disentangled.