Abdominal pain, flatulence and colicky pain are the common symptoms associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders. Anti-spasmodics are used to relieve spasms of the stomach, intestine , and bladder however the anticholinergic side effects often limit their long term use. The purpose of this study was to assess Indian medicinal plants for treating spasms as there is need to develop safer antispasmodics without the limitations of conventional drugs.
The present study involved initial screening of plants for in-vitro antispasmogenic activity on ileum of hen (spasmogen: Ach) and guinea pig (spasmogen: histamine). The effects of crude methanolic and aqueous extracts of fifteen plants and two marketed preparation were studied in a dose dependent manner. The plants were selected on basis of their traditional claims whereas the marketed preparations were validated for their marketed claims.
The extracts which showed antispasmogenic activity were chosen for preparing a formulation to be prepared and used at home.
In-vitro results of aqueous extracts of Zingiber officinale, Syzygium samarangense & Garcinia indica showed 51.39,
41.67 & 50.62 % inhibition respectively against histamine induced contractions and 29.54, 18.75, 40.56 % inhibition respectively against Ach induced contractions. The marketed preparations Bi-quinol and Carminol displayed 58.69 and 96.67 % antispasmodic activity. All experiments & results were in triplicate and performed thrice for good statistical analysis.
The results obtained, partly substantiate the traditional use of these herbs for treating spasms, acute spasmodic & colicky pain. Further study is being pursued to evaluate and validate the formulation.