Background: Treatment of chronic liver disease is still not well known. Due to several factors such as: drugs costs, no effective drug treatments, probability of disease recurrence and drug adverse effects, the use of herbal medicine is preferred by patients.
Objective: The present study was aimed to evaluating the liver protective effects of medicinal herbs extracts such as Cynara scolymus, Taraxacum officinale, Cichorium intybus, Berberis vulgaris extract against carbon tetrachloride liver toxicity.
Methods: The hydroalcholic extract of Cynara scolymus leaf, Taraxacum officinale root, Cichorium intybus root, Berberis vulgaris root and stems were prepared and dried. Total 150 wistar male rat were divided in 15 groups of 10 rats each. Liver intoxication was induced in rats by intraperionial injection of 1 ml/kg of 1:1 carbon tetrachloride in olive oil for two successive days. The plant extracts were dissolves in 5% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) in distilled water and injected simultaneously with intoxication.
The 15 groups were as: 1- normal group. 2- liver intoxication i.e. control group, 3,4,5- liver intoxication + Cichorium intybus, 6,7,8- liver intoxication+Taraxacum officinale, 9,10,11- liver intoxication + Cynara scolymus, 12,13,14- liver intoxication + Berberis vulgaris, 15- liver intoxication + mixture of 4 herbal extract. For group 3 to 14 four medicinal herbs with three dosage were selected i.e. 10, 20 and 30 times of human dosage. 3 days after intoxication and extract treatments the serum liver enzymes such as SGOT, SGPT, and ALP were determined in all groups.
Results: Results indicated that in control group the blood level of SGOT, SGPT, and ALP (1561±196, 1225±254 and 1200±223 respectively) after 3 days of carbon tetrachloride liver toxicity were increased significantly as compared to normal group (112±22, 63±12 and 240±57 respectively). In all 4 herbal extract treatment groups with 10 times of human dosage (Taraxacum officinale 250, Cynara scolymus 300, Cichorium intybus extract 150 and Berberis vulgaris 300 mg/kg/day) and 20 times ( double of previous dosage ) of human dosage did not affect the blood level of SGOT, SGPT, and ALP as compared to control group. But in groups receiving mixture of 4 herbal extract 10 times of human dosage, the blood level of SGOT, SGPT, and ALP (505±52, 291±53 and 655±41 respectively) were reduced significantly as compared to control group.
In groups receiving herbal extracts 30 times of human dosage the result were as follow:
1- Treatment of rats with Cichorium intybus root extract 450 mg/kg/day significantly reduced SGOT, SGPT and ALP (624±51, 433±60 and 590±46 respectively) as compared to control group.
2- Treatment of rats with whole plant extract of Berberis vulgaris 900 mg/kg/day significantly reduced ALP (604±51) but not SGOT, SGPT as compared to control group.
3- Treatment of rats with root extract of Taraxacum officinale 750 mg/kg/day significantly reduced SGOT and ALP (946±71 and 565±47 respectively) but not SGPT as compared to control group.
4- Treatment of rats with root extract of Cynara scolymus 900 mg/kg/day significantly reduced SGOT, SGPT and ALP (861±64, 614±133 and 614±40 respectively) as compared to control group.
Conclusion: In the present study administration of Cichorium intybus and Cynara scolymus and to a lesser extent Taraxacum officinale and Berberis vulgaris with 30 times of human dosage prevent liver intoxication. The mixture of 4 extract 10 times of human dosage shows similar effect.