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J Ethnopharmacol. 1997 Jan; 55(2): 87-92.

Evaluation of Nigerian traditional medicine: effects of Gakani, a herbal anti-asthmatic drug.

Akah PA, Gamaniel KS, Samson A, Wambebe CO.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.

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.

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