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Pharmacological studies on Ephedra nebrodensis Tineo
Aerial parts of Ephedra nebrodensis Tineo collected in Sardinia (Italy) were extracted by different solvents [ethanol:acetone (1:1), dicloromethane, acetone, and ethanol]. The GC-MS analysis of the extracts showed that the main components were D-pseudoephedrine, L-ephedrine, nor-ephedrine, nor-pseudoephedrine, methyl-ephedrine, methyl-pseudoephedrine.
The pharmacological evaluation was carried out using following tests/methods: Guinea pig tracheal chain preparation; milk induced leucocytosis, milk-induced eosinophilia, carrageenan-induced rat paw edema, and acetic acid-induced writhing. The acetone:ethanol extract inhibited histamine-induced tracheal chain contractions (antihistaminic activity), decreased milk induced leucocytosis and eosinophilia (Adaptogenic activity), reduced acetic acid-induced writhing (Antinociceptive activity), inhibited carrageenan-induced paw edema (anti-inflammatory activity). The same extract also showed a slight hypotensive effect and amphetamine-like action. The extract obtained from fresh drug showed a major efficacy compared to that obtained from dried drug, especially in locomotor activity test.
Flavonoids and proanthocyanidols in E. nebrodensis influence the absorption of ephedrinic compounds making their pharmacological activities less intense but more enduring.