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Malva sylvestris water extract: A potential anti-Inflammatory and anti-ulcerogenic remedy
Malva sylvestris, family Malvaceae, has been grown as a medicinal plant and pot herb since Roman times. It is found in subtropical and temperate latitude of both hemispheres. The present study investigates the role of the aqueous extract of its aerial part upon lipemia, glycemia, inflammation and gastric ulcer using rats as a model. After one month of extract intake via drinking water (100, 400 and 800mg/kg body weight) the 400 and 800mg/kg body weight doses resulted in significant increase in serum triglyceride, while other lipid and glycemic parameters and liver enzyme activities (AST, ALT, LDH, ALP) were unaffected. About 10% increase in stool water content was observed at highest dose used. Doses of 50, 100, 250 and 500mg/kg body weight were used in acute and chronic inflammation models induced by carrageenan and formalin respectively . Significant anti-inflammatory activity was observed at most doses used with an optimum inhibition at 100mg/kg body weight (60% inhibition) in both models. Protection against ethanol-induced gastric ulcer was investigated . Results showed maximum protection (37%) at 500mg/kg body weight, a value higher than that observed with cimetidine (30%), a reference drug. The assessment of antibacterial activity against 11 bacterial hospital isolates and the antifungal effect against Candida albicans using disk diffusion technique showed no potentials in this respect. In conclusion, Malva sylvestris water extract showed no liver toxicity, and exhibited a positive effect on ulcer and inflammation with relatively a neutral effect on lipemia and glycemia.
Acknowledgments: Mr. Jean Karam.
References:  Jose, N. et al. (2004) Phytother. Res. 18:43–46.
 Alkofahi, A. and Atta, A.H. (1999)J. Ethnopharmacol. 67:341–345.