The anti-asthmatic potential of Gakani, a popular herbal drug in Nigeria was investigated. The LD50 values of the freeze-dried aqueous extract in mice and rats were 20.9 +/- 2.4 mg/kg and 18.6 +/- 4 mg/kg, respectively. The extract unsurmountably blocked the effects of histamine and isoprenaline on the guinea pig tracheaL chain. It produced initial dose-related contractions of the isolated guinea pig ileum and rat stomach strip, which was followed by persistent autoinhibition and inhibition of histamine- and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)-induced responses of the two preparations, respectively. The extract had good anti-inflammatory effect in rats, causing a dose-related inhibition of the increase in the paw circumference (acute inflammation) induced by subplantar injection of fresh egg albumin. These results highlight the anti-asthmatic and toxic potential of this preparation and the need for a systemic approach in the study of traditional medicines.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 02/1997; 55(2):87-92. DOI:10.1016/S0378-8741(96)01475-4