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Journal of Applied Sciences

Year: 2012  |  Volume: 12  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 581 - 586

Cytotoxicity, Analgesic and Antidiarrhoeal Activities of Asparagus racemosus

U.K. Karmakar, S.K. Sadhu, S.K. Biswas, A. Chowdhury, M.C. Shill and J. Das


In ayurveda, Asparagus racemosus Willd is known as the queen of herbs because it has a strong rejuvenating, nurturing and stabilizing effect on excessive air, gas, dryness and agitation in the body and mind. Ethanol extracts of Asparagus racemosus (EEAR) belonging to the family Liliaceae was investigated for biological action. The present study was designed to evaluate the cytotoxicity, analgesic and antidiarrhoeal properties of the ethanol extract of whole plant of Asparagus racemosus. The test for analgesic activity of the crude ethanol extract was performed using acetic acid induced writhing model in mice. On the other hand, antidiarrhoeal test of the EEAR was done according to the model of castor oil induced diarrhoea in mice and brine shrimp lethality bioassay was used to determine the cytotoxic activity of ethanol extract of the plant. In acetic acid induced writhing in mice, the ethanol extract exhibited significant inhibition of writhing reflex 67.47% (p<0.01) at the dose of 500 mg kg-1 body weight. The plant extract showed antidiarrhoeal activity in castor oil induced diarrhoea in mice. It increased mean latent period and decreased the frequency of defecation with number of stool count at the dose of 250 and 500 mg kg-1 body weight, respectively comparable to the standard drug Loperamide at the dose of 50 mg kg-1 body weight. In addition to these, the brine shrimp lethality test showed the significant cytotoxic activity of the plant extract (LC50: 10 μg mL-1 and LC90: 47.86 μg mL-1). The obtained results support the traditional uses of the plant and require further investigation to identify the chemical constituent(s) responsible for cytotoxicity, analgesic and antidiarrhoeal activities.

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