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J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Aug 26;149(1):297-302. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.038. Epub 2013 Jun 28.

Antitussive, expectorant and bronchodilating effects of ethanol extract of Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench roots.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy, Wuhan City Central Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technolgy, Wuhan 430014, China.



Root of Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench (RSB) is an herbal medicine in Traditional Chinese Medicine, still used in some rural areas in Central China as an alternative remedy to treat cough and asthma.


The study was aimed at evaluating the antitussive, expectorant and bronchodilating effects of ethanol extract of RSB, support its folk use with scientific evidence, and lay a foundation for its further researches.


RSB was extracted with 80% ethanol aqueous in reflux conditions, solutions were concentrated in reduced pressure, and lyophilized in vacuum to yield the RSB extract. Antitussive evaluations were carried out with three different models including ammonia liquor induced mice cough, capsaicin induced mice cough, and citric acid induced guinea pigs cough; phenol red secretion experiments in mice were performed to evaluate the expectorant ability; bronchodilating effects were evaluated with a bronchoconstrictive challenge induced by acetylcholine chloride and histamine in guinea pigs.


In all the three antitussive tests, treatment of RSB significantly inhibited the frequency of cough, and prolonged the cough latent period in animals. And high dose of RSB (200mg/kg in mice and 100mg/kg in guinea pigs) created therapeutic activities as good as standard antitussive drug codeine phosphate (20mg/kg). In the expectorant evaluation, 50, 100 and 200mg/kg RSB treatment had significantly increased the amount of phenol red output for 0.39, 1.18, and 1.96 folds in mice tracheas. In the bronchodilating test, RSB treatment at 100mg/kg extended the preconvulsive time for 44.84% compared with that of before treatment in guinea pigs.


RSB is an effective alternative medicine for the treatment of cough with potent antitussive, expectorant and bronchodilating activities.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Antitussive; Bronchodilating; Expectorant; Sorghum bicolor

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