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Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:692751. doi: 10.1155/2013/692751. Epub 2013 Jul 7.

Efficacy of Iranian traditional medicine in the treatment of epilepsy.

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Research Institute for Islamic and Complementary Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Epilepsy is a brain disorder which affects about 50 million people worldwide. Ineffectiveness of the drugs in some cases and the serious side effects and chronic toxicity of the antiepileptic drugs lead to use of herbal medicine as a form of complementary and alternative medicine. In this review modern evidences for the efficacy of antiepileptic medicinal plants in Traditional Iranian Medicine (TIM) will be discussed. For this purpose electronic databases including PubMed, Scopus, Sciencedirect, and Google Scholar were searched for each of the antiepileptic plants during 1970-February 2013.Anticonvulsant effect of some of the medicinal plants mentioned in TIM like Anacyclus pyrethrum, Pimpinella anisum, Nigella sativa, and Ferula gummosa was studied with different models of seizure. Also for some of these plants like Nigella sativa or Piper longum the active constituent responsible for antiepileptic effect was isolated and studied. For some of the herbal medicine used in TIM such as Pistacia lentiscus gum (Mastaki), Bryonia alba (Fashra), Ferula persica (Sakbinaj), Ecballium elaterium (Ghesa-al Hemar), and Alpinia officinarum (Kholanjan) there is no or not enough studies to confirm their effectiveness in epilepsy. It is suggested that an evaluation of the effects of these plants on different epileptic models should be performed.

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