Aqueous leaf extract of Bryophyllum pinnatum
Lam (Crassulaceae) is used as a cough remedy and for the prophylaxis of asthma. Since drugs used for the prophylaxis of asthma may be acting on airway smooth muscles, we investigated the effects of aqueous leaf extract of the plant on the contractile responses of isolated tracheal rings. Guinea pigs were grouped into non-sensitized, ovalbumin (OA)-sensitized, OA-sensitized but 200 mg/kg/day x 21 extract-treated, and OA-sensitized but 400 mg/kg/day x 21 extract-treated. The extract was administered orally. Tracheal rings obtained from the four groups were mounted in organ baths and used to test spasmolytic and antispasmodic effects of the extract on histamine or carbachol-induced contractions. Concentrations of 0.125 – 1.0 mg/ml of the extract did not relax histamine or carbachol-induced precontractions. The presence of 0.25 – 1.0 mg/ml of the extract in organ baths significantly (p< 0.0001) reduced the maximal contractile responses (Emax
) to cumulative concentrations of histamine or carbachol irrespective of the experimental group. pD2
values were significantly reduced for histamine (p< 0.05) and carbachol (p< 0.002) in rings obtained from 400 mg/kg/day x 21 extract-treated group. It is concluded that aqueous leaf extract of B. pinnatum
possesses antispasmodic effects on the guinea pig tracheal rings. The results lend credence to the use of the extract for the prophylaxis of asthma in ethnomedicine.