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Phytother Res. 2006 Jul;20(7):546-51.

Studies on hepatoprotective, antispasmodic and calcium antagonist activities of the aqueous-methanol extract of Achillea millefolium.

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Department of Pharmacology, Ziauddin Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan.


The crude extract of Achillea millefolium (Am.Cr) was studied for its possible hepatoprotective effect against d-galactosamine (d-GalN) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced hepatitis in mice and antispasmodic effect in isolated gut preparations to rationalize some of the folklore uses. Co-administration of d-GalN (700 mg/kg) and LPS (25 microg/kg) produced 100% mortality in mice. Pre-treatment of animals with Am.Cr (300 mg/kg) reduced the mortality to 40%. Co-administration of d-GalN (700 mg/kg) and LPS (1 microg/kg) significantly raised the plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels compared with values in the control group (p < 0.05). Pre-treatment of mice with Am.Cr (150-600 mg/kg) significantly prevented the toxins induced rise in plasma ALT and AST (p < 0.05). The hepatoprotective effect of Am.Cr was further verified by histopathology of the liver, which showed improved architecture, absence of parenchymal congestion, decreased cellular swelling and apoptotic cells, compared with the toxin group of animals. In isolated rabbit jejunum preparations, Am.Cr caused a concentration-dependent (0.3-10 mg/mL) relaxation of both spontaneous and K(+)-induced contractions as well as shifting the Ca(++) concentration-response curves (CRCs) to the right, similar to that caused by verapamil. These results indicate that the crude extract of Achillea millefolium exhibits a hepatoprotective effect, which may be partly attributed to its observed calcium channel blocking activity.

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