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Figs, constipation and 'thick blood'



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J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Sep 2;119(1):1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.05.040. Epub 2008 Jun 11.

Ethnopharmacological studies on antispasmodic and antiplatelet activities of Ficus carica.

Gilani AH1, Mehmood MH, Janbaz KH, Khan AU, Saeed SA.

  • 1Natural Product Research Division, Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, The Aga Khan University Medical College, Karachi 74800, Pakistan. anwar.gilani@aku.edu

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: The ripe dried fruit of Ficus carica Linn. (Moraceae) commonly known as "Fig" has medicinal value in traditional system of medicine for its use in gastrointestinal and inflammatory disorders.

AIM OF THE STUDY: To rationalize the medicinal use of Fig (Ficus carica) in gastrointestinal and inflammatory disorders.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The aqueous-ethanolic extract of Ficus carica (Fc.Cr) was studied for antispasmodic effect on the isolated rabbit jejunum preparations and for antiplatelet effect using ex vivo model of human platelets.

RESULTS: Fc.Cr tested positive for alkaloids, flavonoids, coumarins, saponins, sterols and terpenes. When tested in isolated rabbit jejunum, Fc.Cr (0.1-3.0mg/mL) produced relaxation of spontaneous and low K(+) (25 mM)-induced contractions with negligible effect on high K(+) (80 mM) similar to that caused by cromakalim. Pretreatment of the tissue with glibenclamide caused rightward shift in the curves of low K(+)-induced contractions. Similarly, cromakalim inhibited the contractions induced by low K(+), but not of high K(+), while verapamil equally inhibited the contractions of K(+) at both concentrations. Fc.Cr (0.6 and 0.12 mg/mL) inhibited the adenosine 5'-diphosphate and adrenaline-induced human platelet aggregation.

CONCLUSION: This study showed the presence of spasmolytic activity in the ripe dried fruit of Ficus carica possibly mediated through the activation of K(+)(ATP) channels along with antiplatelet activity which provides sound pharmacological basis for its medicinal use in the gut motility and inflammatory disorders.

PMID: 18586078

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