Send to

Choose Destination
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Jul;103:1552-1556. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2018.04.166. Epub 2018 May 7.

Spasmolytic effect of aqueous extract of Tagetes erecta L. flowers is mediated through calcium channel blockade on the guinea-pig ileum.

Author information

Departamento de Farmacología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, Mexico. Electronic address:
Departamento de Farmacología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, Mexico.
Laboratorio de Neurofarmacología de Productos Naturales, Dirección de Investigaciones en Neurociencias, Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz, Ciudad de México, Mexico.
Sección de Estudios de Posgrado e Investigación, Escuela Superior de Medicina, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Ciudad de México, Mexico.


This study provides pharmacological evidence on the spasmolytic activity of Tagetes erecta L. (marigold or cempasúchil) on the guinea-pig ileum and presents data on its mechanism of action. The relaxant effect on KCl contractions was more marked with aqueous (AqEx) than with ethanol extracts (EtEx) of T. erecta flowers (55.6 ± 11.0 vs 21.1 ± 4.4%, respectively). In addition, the aqueous extract antagonized contractions elicited by EFS, but not by acetylcholine (73.5 ± 1.9 vs 14.5 ± 5.3%, respectively). These effects were not diminished by hexamethonium or L-NAME, but this extract caused a rightward shift in the Ca2+ concentration-response curves like that of verapamil. Quercetin and rutin, two flavonoids present in this plant, also showed spasmolytic effects (95.7 ± 2.8 and 27.9 ± 7.1%, respectively). Interestingly, in tissues without spasmogens, the extract induced contractions superimposed on their spontaneous activity. These results support the traditional use of T. erecta as a spasmolytic in folk medicine and suggest mainly that quercetin could be partly responsible for this effect. The spasmolytic effect appears to involve voltage-gated calcium channels, but not the nitric oxide pathway or the release of neurotransmitters from enteric neurons. Nevertheless, this plant could produce colic or stomachache as adverse effects in clinical situations in which these symptoms are not originally present.


Aqueous extract (AqEx); Calcium channels; Guinea-Pig ileum; Spasmogenic effect; Spasmolytic activity; Tagetes erecta (T. erecta)

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center