Pharmacological basis for the medicinal use of alcea rosea in airways disorders and chemical characterization of its fixed oils through GC-MS

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Alcea rosea L. also known as Althea rosea belongs to the Malvaceae family. This medicinal herb, traditionally used to treat several conditions including airway disorders like asthma and chronic bronchitis. This study evaluated the bronchodilatory effects and possible mechanism of A. rosea on guinea-pig tracheal tissues. Moreover lipophilic profiling of A. rosea has been carried out by using Gas-Chromatography-Mass-Spectrometry. A total of 19 compounds have been identified from the plant, n-hexane fraction. These compounds have been further confirmed from their Van den Dool and Kratz (I) Indices. Major class of metabolite identified from the plant includes fatty acid, saturated and unsaturated fatty acid esters. Hydrocarbons have also been detected from the n-hexane fraction. These fatty acid esters have not been reported previously by GC-MS and were identified first time from the flowers of Alcea rosea. In-vitro experiments were performed on guinea-pig tracheal tissues, mounted in Kreb's solution at 37°C and bubbled with carbogen. In isolated guinea-pig trachea, A. rosea inhibited carbamylcholine and K+ (80 mM)-induced contractions, potentiated isoprenaline concentration-response curves (CRCs) and suppressed Ca2+ CRCs. These results suggest that A. rosea cause bronchodilation through dual inhibition of phosphodiesterase enzyme and Ca2+ influx, which substantiate its potential in airways disorders.


Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences