Pharmacological Basis for Medicinal Use of Lens culinaris in Gastrointestinal and Respiratory Disorders

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Crude extract of Lens culinaris (Lc.Cr), which tested positive for presence of anthraquinones, flavonoids, saponins, sterol, tannins, and terpenes exhibited protective effect against castor oil-induced diarrhea in mice at 100–1000 mg/kg. In rabbit jejunum preparations, Lc.Cr caused relaxation of spontaneous contractions at 0.03–5.0 mg/mL. Lc.Cr inhibited carbachol (CCh, 1 μM) and K+ (80 mM)-induced contractions in a pattern similar to dicyclomine, but different from verapamil and atropine. Lc.Cr shifted the Ca++ concentration-response curves to the right, like dicyclomine and verapamil. Pretreatment of tissues with Lc.Cr (0.03–0.1 mg/mL) caused leftward shift of isoprenaline-induced inhibitory CRCs, similar to papaverine. In guinea-pig ileum, Lc.Cr produced rightward parallel shift of CCh curves, followed by non-parallel shift at higher concentration with suppression of maximum response, similar to dicyclomine, but different from verapamil and atropine. Lc.Cr (3.0–30 mg/kg) caused suppression of carbachol (CCh, 100 µg/kg)-induced increase in inspiratory pressure of anesthetized rats. In guinea-pig trachea, Lc.Cr relaxed CCh and high K+-induced contractions, shifted CCh curves to right and potentiated isoprenaline response. These results suggest that L. culinaris possesses antidiarrheal, antispasmodic, and bronchodilator activities mediated possibly through a combination of Ca++ antagonist, anticholinergic, and phosphodiesterase inhibitory effects, and this study provides sound mechanistic background to its medicinal use in disorders of gut and airways hyperactivity, like diarrhea and asthma.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Phytotherapy Research