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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 304960, 6 pages
Research Article

Antispasmodic and Antidiarrheal Activities of Valeriana hardwickii Wall. Rhizome Are Putatively Mediated through Calcium Channel Blockade

1Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Aga Khan University Medical College, Karachi 74800, Pakistan
2Department of Pharmacy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan

Received 21 May 2010; Revised 13 December 2010; Accepted 10 January 2011

Copyright © 2011 Samra Bashir 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.


Valeriana hardwickii is indigenous to Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon, where it is traditionally being used as an antispasmodic and antidiarrheal, besides its culinary use as spice. The aim of this paper was to provide pharmacological validation to these medicinal uses. The crude aqueous-methanolic extract of Valeriana hardwickii rhizome (Vh.Cr) was studied on isolated rabbit jejunum and castor oil-induced diarrhea in mice for spasmolytic and antidiarrheal properties, respectively. Vh.Cr caused concentration-dependent (0.01–1 mg/mL) relaxation of spontaneous contractions in isolated rabbit jejunum and inhibited K+-induced contractions (0.01–0.3 mg/mL), similar to verapamil, suggestive of calcium channel blockade (CCB). The CCB effect was confirmed when pretreatment of the jejunum preparations with Vh.Cr produced a concentration-dependent (0.03–0.1 mg/mL) rightward shift in the Ca++ concentration-response curves, as caused by verapamil. Vh.Cr exhibited dose-dependent (100–300 mg/kg) protection against castor oil-induced diarrhea in mice. Loperamide, a standard antidiarrheal drug, similarly prevented the diarrhea. These data indicate the presence of CCB effect in the extract of Valeriana hardwickii rhizome, possibly mediating its antispasmodic and antidiarrheal activities and provide a scientific base for its traditional use in hyperactive gut disorders.