Effect of five medicinal plants used in Indian system of medicines on immune function in Wistar rats
Today, the use (which we can say ‘return to nature’) of traditional herbal medicines, herbal health products, pharmaceuticals food supplement, cosmetics, etc. is increasing due to the growing recognition that natural products are safe; have either no or negotiable side effects. The objective of this study was to investigate the immunomodulatory properties of five different medicinal plants used in Indian system of medicines on the Wistar rats. The activity was investigated by phagocytic carbon clearance, antibody titre and delayed type hypersensitivity test. The control group received 0.1% carboxyl methyl cellulose and other groups received the different doses of all the five plants extracts such as Tribulus terrestris, Cassia tora, Achyranthes aspera, Mucuna prurians and Abrus precatorius intraperitoneally for 7 consecutive days. All the five plants exhibited immunostimulatory activity and out of the five plants, T. terrestris showed significant dose dependent increase in the ‘humoral antibody titre and DTH response’ as indicated by increase in footpad thickness. It also showed significant increase in the ‘phagocytic index’ in rats. The investigation revealed that all the mentioned plants have immunomodulatory activities.
Key words: Medicinal plants, antibody titre, delayed type hypersensitivity, phagocytosis