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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2008 June;60(3):285-90


language: Italian

Advances on the effects of the compounds of a phytotherapic agent (COLIMIL®) on upper gastrointestinal transit in mice

Savino F., Capasso R., Palumeri E., Tarasco V., Locatelli E., Capasso F.

1 Dipartimento di Farmacologia Sperimentale Università Federico II, Napoli; Italia 2 Dipartimento di Scienze Pediatriche Ospedale Infantile Regina Margherita Università di Torino, Torino, Italia


Aim. Phytotherapic agents, such as herbal formulations containing Matricariae recutita flowers (chamomile) extract, Foeniculum vulgare fruit (fennel) extract and Melissa officinalis aerial parts (lemon balm) extract have beneficial effects on gastrointestinal tract in colicky infants. However, the mechanism is largely unexplored and, particularly, it is not clear if it affects intestinal motility. The aim of this experimental study was to evaluate the effect of different herbal formulations containing Matricariae recutita extract, Foeniculum vulgare extract and Melissa officinalis extract on upper gastrointestinal transit in mice in vivo.
Methods. Gastrointestinal transit was measured in male ICR mice and in croton oil-treated mice after the oral administration of herbal formulations containing chamomile, fennel and lemon balm (ColiMil®) and chamomile and lemon balm (ColiMil experimental).
Results. The herbal formulations tested (0.4-0.8 mL/mouse) dose-dependently and significantly inhibited gastrointestinal transit both in control and in croton oil-treated mice. Chamomile extract and lemon balm extract reduced significantly intestinal motility, but not fennel. At similar concentration ColiMil® evoked a more consistent response than ColiMil experimental.
Conclusion. Our findings directly demonstrate in vivo the effect of a combination of herbal formulations on intestinal motility. The observed inhibitory effect might be studied with clinical studies to test the efficacy of these compounds in the treatment of colicky infants.

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