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Carum copticum L.: A Herbal Medicine with Various Pharmacological Effects - Cardiovascular effects



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Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014: 569087.   Published online 2014 Jun 25. doi: 10.1155/2014/569087

PMCID: PMC4096002   PMID: 25089273

Carum copticum L.: A Herbal Medicine with Various Pharmacological Effects
Mohammad Hossein Boskabady, 1 ,* Saeed Alitaneh, 2 and Azam Alavinezhad 1

Carum copticum L. commonly known as “Ajwain” is cultivated in many regions of the world including Iran and India, states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Traditionally, C. copticum has been used in the past for various therapeutic effects including bloating, fatigue, diarrhea, abdominal tumors, abdominal pain, respiratory distress, and loss of appetite. It has other health benefits such as antifungal, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiparasitic, and hypolipidemic effects. This plant contains different important components such as carbohydrates, glucosides, saponins and phenolic compounds (carvacrol), volatile oils (thymol), terpiene, paracymene and beta-pinene, protein, fat, fiber, and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, iron, and nicotinic acid (niacin). In the previous studies, several pharmacological effects were shown for C. copticum. Therefore, in this paper, the pharmacological effects of the plant were reviewed.


.2. Cardiovascular Effect
Due to calcium channel blocking effect, C. copticum has remarkable role in heart rate and blood pressure. Thymol also made fall in blood pressure and heart rate [41]. Several cardiovascular effects of C. copticum and its constituents were shown. Negative inotropic and chronotropic effects due to administration of 1–10 mg/kg thymol in mice were shown which lead to decrease in blood pressure. It was suggested that this effect of thymol could be due to calcium channel blocking property [25].

Kumar et al. examined the effect of juice of C. copticum leaves on isolated frog heart. It had positive ionotropic effect and negative chronotropic effect on cardiac muscle perfused heart [42].

The cholinomimetic effects of aqueous extracts from C. copticum seeds on guinea pigs illume were shown [43], which could cause bradycardia. However, this effect of the plant is not supported by the results of more recent studies. In addition, in a pilot clinical trial, the impact of C. copticum on syndrome of cardiovascular disease (angina) was reported which showed that this plant can cause vasodilation of coronary arteries and decreased systemic blood pressure [44].

Lipid-lowering effect of C. copticum seeds has been studied in rabbit. In these studies, methanolic extract of the plant (2 g/kg) significantly decreased total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL-cholesterol (71%, 53%, and 63%, resp.) and increased HDL up to 60% which was comparable to the effect of simvastatin (0.6 mg/kg). It was also suggested that antilipidemic effect of the plant is possibly due to enhanced removal or catabolism of lipoproteins and inhibition of HMG COA reductase [45, 46]. In addition, it was shown that C. copticum seed powder was also effective in increasing secretion of lipase and amylase from pancreas gland in rat [47].

Rajput et al. administered extract of Ajwain with dose of 50 mg/kg and warfarin (0.54 mg/kg) orally to rats and measured coagulation parameters (PT and aPTT). On the 14th day, extract significantly increased PT time compared with warfarin but did not have effect on aPTT. They demonstrated its possible effects on the extrinsic pathway [48].

Administration of thymol orally twice daily (14 mg/kg) to high fat diet rats caused decremented effect on body weight gain and serum lipid peroxidation and increased antioxidant levels [49].

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