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August 04, 2020

Blood Pressure Lowering, Diuretic and Sedative Activities of Cardamom


Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum Maton, family; Scitaminaceae) is a perennial herb, indigenous to India, Pakistan, Burma and Sri Lanka. In addition to its wide use for culinary purpose, cardamom has folkloric repute as carminative, stomachic, diuretic, abortifacient, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and is considered useful in treatment of constipation, colic, diarrhea, dyspepsia, vomiting, headache, epilepsy and cardiovascular diseases.

 

Cardamom is traditionally used in various gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and neuronal disorders. In 2008, a study was conducted to rationalize cardamom use in constipation, colic, diarrhea, and hypertension. The results were published in Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

 

Cardamom crude extract (Ec. Cr) was studied using in vitro and in vivo techniques. Ec. Cr caused atropine-sensitive stimulatory effect in isolated guinea-pig ileum at 3-10 mg/ml. In rabbit jejunum preparations, Ec. Cr relaxed spontaneous and K+ (80 mm)-induced, like verapamil. Ec. Cr (3-100mg/kg) induced fall in the arterial blood pressure (BP) of anaesthetized rats.

In endothelium-intact rat aorta, Ec. Cr relaxed phenylephrine-induced contractions, and also inhibited K+ contractions. In guinea-pig atria, Ec. Cr exhibited a cardio-depressant effect.

Ec. Cr (1-10mg/kg) produced diuresis in rats, accompanied by a saluretic effect (a drug that promotes excretion of salt in the urine).

 

It enhanced pentobarbital-induced sleeping time in mice. Bio-assay directed fractionation revealed the separation of spasm genic (causing contraction of smooth muscle) and spasmolytic (relieving spasm of smooth muscle) components in the aqueous and organic fractions respectively.

 

These results indicate that cardamom exhibits gut excitatory and inhibitory effects mediated through cholinergic and Ca++ antagonist mechanisms respectively and lowers blood pressure via combination of both pathways. The diuretic and sedative effects may offer added value in its use in hypertension and epilepsy.

 

 

 

 

 

- Gilani, A.H., Jabeen, Q., Khan, A.U., & Shah, A.J. (2008). Gut modulatory, blood pressure lowering, diuretic and sedative activities of cardamom. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 115, 463–472. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.871.7812&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 



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