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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 4 (2007), Issue 1, Pages 43-50
Original Article

Benefits of Zataria multiflora Boiss in Experimental Model of Mouse Inflammatory Bowel Disease

1Laboratory of Toxicology, Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2Laboratory of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicinal Plants Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3Laboratory of Histopathology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Received 10 January 2006; Accepted 19 June 2006

Copyright © 2007 Leila Ashtaral Nakhai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic condition of the intestine with unknown etiology involving multiple immune, genetic and environmental factors. We were interested to examine the effect of total extract from Zataria multiflora Boiss, a folk medicinal plant on prevention and treatment of experimental IBD. Z. multiflora was administered (400, 600, 900 p.p.m.) through drinking water to IBD mice induced by intrarectal administration of acetic acid. Prednisolone was used as the standard drug for comparison. Biochemical, macroscopic and microscopic examinations of colon were performed. Biochemical evaluation of inflamed colon was done using assay of myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) concentration as indicators of free radical activity and cell lipid peroxidation. The activity of MPO and lipid peroxidation products (TBARS) increased in acetic acid-treated groups while recovered by pretreatment of animals with Z. multiflora (400–900 p.p.m.) and prednisolone. Z. multiflora (600 and 900 p.p.m.) and prednisolone-treated groups showed significantly lower score values of macroscopic and microscopic characters when compared with the acetic acid-treated group. The beneficial effect of Z. multiflora (900 p.p.m.) was comparable with that of prednisolone. The antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory potentials of Z. multiflora might be the mechanisms by which this herbal extract protects animals against experimentally induced IBD. Proper clinical investigation should be carried out to confirm the activity in human.