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Rivista di Biologia Molecolare e Biotecnologie

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Minerva Biotecnologica 2005 September;17(3)141-52

lingua: Inglese

Efficacy of herbal substances according to cough reflex

Nosalova G. 1, Sutovska M. 1, Mokry J. 1, Kardosova A. 2, Capek P. 2, Khan M. T. H. 3, 4

1 Department of Pharmacology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Martin, Slovakia;
2 Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia;
3 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Center for Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy;
4 Pharmacology Research Laboratory, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Science and Technology, Chittacong, Bangladesh


Aim. The aim of our experiments was to prove the influence of herbal polysaccharide constituents on the cough reflex.
Methods. Antitussive activity of the selected plant carbohydrate substances was tested on conscious cats by mechanical stimulation of the laryngopharyngeal and tracheobronchial mucous areas of the airways through a surgically implanted endotracheal cannula. Parameters of the cough reflex (number of cough efforts, cough frequency, intensity of the maximal cough effort and intensity of the coughing attack during inspiration and during expiration) were registered and statistically evaluated. Comparative tests with commonly used antitussive drugs from both groups, narcotic (codeine) and non-narcotic (dropropizine) were carried out under the same conditions.
Results. The cough suppressive ability of polysaccharide compounds originating from the following plants was shown: Aloe vera, Althaea officinalis, Arctium lappa, Mahonia aquifolium, Malva mauritiana, Salvia officinalis and Verbascum thapsiforme. Comparison with the same properties of the classical drugs revealed antitussive effects lower than codeine but significantly higher or similar to dropropizine. Expectoration parameters were reduced minimally after orally administered herbal agents. Side effects on plant constituent administration were rare and less serious than evidenced when codeine was applied.
Conclusion. The described impressive antitussive activity and certified adverse reactions are the reason why the herbal compounds are to be considered as prospective drugs able to influence the cough reflex.

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