Background: In Iranian folk medicine, several plants are used for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, such as diarrhea and spasm. One of these herbal medications are the essential oil yielded from seeds of Ferula assaâ€‘foetida L. and an oleoâ€‘gumâ€‘resin known as asafetida, which is exudated from its root. F. assaâ€‘foetida grows wildly in south and central mountains of Iran. Aim: In this study, relaxant effect of asafoetida and seed’s essential oil of F. assaâ€‘foetida was investigated in isolated rat’s ileum in three doses. Materials and Methods: A total of 5 cm of ileum was removed and sets for recording its isotonic contractions. The amplitude of contractions induced by different doses of asafoetida and essential oil before and after exposing the specimens with cumulative logarithmic concentrations of acetylcholine (Ach) was evaluated. The relaxant effect of asafoetida and seed’s essential oil of F. assaâ€‘foetida was investigated in isolated rat’s ileum in three doses (0.1 0.2 and 0.3%). All statistical analysis was by GraphPad Prism 5 (San Diego, California ) and comparisons were made by means of the analysis of variances followed by Tukey’s test. The statistical significance was considered as P < 0.05. Results: Asafoetida produced an antispasmodic effect on Ach induced contraction in 0.2% and 0.3% concentrations. Our findings also showed that essential oil has significant antispasmodic action against cumulative concentrations of 10−12 up to 10−2 M Ach. In spasmolytic evaluation, our findings showed that the essential oil derived from F. assaâ€‘foetida seed in concentrations of 0.2% and 0.3% significantly reduced Ach (10−4 M) induced contractions. Exposure to the 0.2% and 0.3% asafoetida, reduced the percentage of maximum contraction induced by 10−4 M Ach to 43% and 12% respectively, which this reduction was statistically significant. Conclusion: The results of the present study, supports the traditional claim of asafoetida as an antispasmodic therapeutic.
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