Direct ex vivo effects of herbal extracts on serum bilirubin in neonatal blood samples


Seyed Hessamedin Nabavizadeh , Ozair-bin Majid and Amir Anushiravan

Herbal drug therapy is a common practice adopted in traditional and alternative medicine and has been used in the treatment of neonatal jaundice or hyperbilirubinemia from ancient times. This is done with the help of different herbal extracts and using different treatment methods. The knowledge of new possibilities and the fact that herbal drugs have been used in some communities for a long time, clarifies the importance of studying herbal drugs. Herbal drug therapies are used commonly which amplifies the need to evaluate the efficacy of these drugs. This study was performed to evaluate the effect of commonly used herbal drugs in neonatal jaundice, through in vitro techniques. In this study 0.5 cc (50 µg/ml) of different herbal extracts such as Chi corium intybus, Fumaria parviflora, Zizyphus jujuba and Alhagi pseudoalhgi, Purgative manna which were obtained through hydrochloric instillation and were added to 1 cc of neonatal serum with hyperbilirubinemia. Then the level of bilirubin was checked by diazo blank method. Among all of the herbal extracts, only Chi corium intybus demonstrated a lowering effect on indirect serum bilirubin. Although Chi corium intybus showed lower levels than the control group, but statistically there was no significant difference in direct bilirubin levels between these groups. Herbal drugs can decrease the bilirubin level through different mechanisms, such as increasing the activity of liver enzymes and decreasing the enterohepatic circulation. But the extract of the herb Chi corium intybus imposes its affect directly on bilirubin. Therefore further investigation is needed in order to separate the active agent in chi corium intybus.

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