Pharmacological basis for the use of Borago officinalis in gastrointestinal, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


AIM OF THE STUDY: In this study, we investigated the crude extract of Borago officinalis leaves (Bo.Cr) for its antispasmodic, bronchodilator, vasodilator and cardio-depressant activities to rationalize some of the traditional uses.MATERIALS AND Methods: Bo.Cr was studied using different isolated tissue preparations including rabbit jejunum, trachea, aorta, and guinea-pig atria.Results: Bo.Cr which was tested positive for flavonoids, coumarins, sterols and tannins produced a concentration-dependent relaxation of spontaneous and K+ (80mM)-induced contractions in isolated rabbit jejunum preparations, suggestive of Ca++ antagonist effect, which was confirmed when pretreatment of the tissue with Bo.Cr produced a rightward shift in the Ca++ concentration-response curves like that caused by verapamil. In rabbit tracheal preparations, Bo.Cr relaxed the carbachol (1microM) and K+-induced contractions. Verapamil also produced non-specific inhibitory effect. In rabbit aorta preparations, Bo.Cr exhibited vasodilator effect against phenylephrine and K+-induced contractions similar to verapamil. When tested in guinea-pig atria, Bo.Cr caused inhibition of both atrial force and rate of contractions.CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the spasmolytic effects of Bo.Cr are mediated possibly through Ca++ antagonist mechanism, which might explain the traditional use of Borago officinalis in hyperactive gastrointestinal, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Ethnopharmacology