A species of mistletoe demonstrates muscle relaxing effects

The European mistletoe (Viscum album) can potentially be used to treat conditions such as colic, diarrhea, and hypertension, according to Pakistani researchers. Their findings, published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, looked at the muscle relaxant effect of V. album in smooth muscles in the gut and the blood vessels.

  • Earlier studies have indicated a direct effect by V. album on smooth muscles. However, the mechanism behind it is unclear.
  • V. album is also used in managing a hyperactive gut, as well as other cardiovascular disorders.
  • Researchers tested the efficacy of V. album using a crude extract (Va. Cr) and its ethyl acetate function (Va. EtAc), in vitro. The team used an isolated rabbit jejunum to test its anti-spasmodic properties, while aortic rings were used to evaluate its vasorelaxant effects.
  • Both Va. Cr and Va. EtAc exhibited anti-spasmodic properties, with the two effectively blocking spontaneous and high K+-induced contractions with EC50 values of 0.31 mg/mL (0.15–0.57) and 0.62 mg/mL (0.3–0.95), respectively. This led researchers to believe that this bioactive ability operates through a calcium channel blockade.
  • The vasorelaxant ability of Va. Cr was similar to verapamil, with the crude extract exhibiting partial relaxation in high K+ and PE (1 micrometer).

The findings reveal the importance of V. album in treating gut spasms and hypertension, given its ability to relax smooth muscles.

Find the full text of the study at this link.

Learn more herbs that can help relieve sore muscles at Herbs.news.

Journal Reference:

Khan T, Ali S, Qayyum R, Hussain I, Wahid F, Shah AJ. INTESTINAL AND VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE RELAXANT EFFECT OF VISCUM ALBUM EXPLAINS ITS MEDICINAL USE IN HYPERACTIVE GUT DISORDERS AND HYPERTENSION. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 27 July 2016;16(251). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-016-1229-3

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