Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 596524, 8 pages
Research Article

Pharmacological Basis for the Medicinal Use of Lepidium sativum in Airways Disorders

1Natural Product Research Unit, Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, The Aga Khan University Medical College, Karachi 74800, Pakistan
2Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan
3Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kohat University of Science and Technology, Kohat 26000, Pakistan
4Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia

Received 6 September 2011; Accepted 10 October 2011

Academic Editor: Raffaele Capasso

Copyright © 2012 Najeeb-ur Rehman 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.


Lepidium sativum is widely used in folk medicine for treatment of hyperactive airways disorders, such as asthma, bronchitis and cough. The crude extract of Lepidium sativum (Ls.Cr) inhibited carbachol (CCh, 1 μM-) and K+ (80 mM-) induced contractions in a pattern similar to that of dicyclomine. Ls.Cr at 0.03 mg/mL produced a rightward parallel shift of CCh curves, followed by nonparallel shift at higher concentration (0.1 mg/mL), suppressing maximum response, similar to that caused by dicyclomine. Pretreatment of tissues with Ls.Cr (0.1–0.3 mg/mL) shifted Ca++ concentration-response curves (CRCs) to right, as produced by verapamil. Ls.Cr at low concentrations (0.03–0.1 mg/mL) caused leftward shift of isoprenaline-induced inhibitory CRCs, like that caused by rolipram, a phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor. These results indicate that bronchodilatory effect of Lepidium sativum is mediated through a combination of anticholinergic, Ca++ antagonist and PDE inhibitory pathways, which provides sound mechanistic background for its medicinal use in the overactive airways disorders.