Giardia lamblia: the effects of extracts and fractions from Mentha x piperita Lin. (Lamiaceae) on trophozoites

Exp Parasitol. 2007 Jan;115(1):25-31. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2006.05.001. Epub 2006 Jul 14.


Giardia lamblia is a parasite that causes giardiasis in humans and other mammals. The common treatment includes different classes of drugs, which were described to produce unpleasant side effects. Mentha x piperita, popularly known as peppermint, is a plant that is frequently used in the popular medicine to treat gastrointestinal symptoms. We examined the effects of crude extracts and fractions from peppermint against G. lamblia (ATCC 30888) on the basis of trophozoite growth, morphology and adherence studies. The methanolic, dichloromethane and hexanic extracts presented IC(50) values of 0.8, 2.5 and 9.0microg/ml after 48h of incubation, respectively. The aqueous extract showed no effect against the trophozoites with an IC(50)>100microg/ml. The aqueous fraction presented a moderate activity with an IC(50) of 45.5microg/ml. The dichloromethane fraction showed the best antigiardial activity, with an IC(50) of 0.75microg/ml after 48h of incubation. The morphological and adhesion assays showed that this fraction caused several alterations on plasma membrane surface of the parasite and inhibited the adhesion of G. lamblia trophozoites. Cytotoxic assays showed that Mentha x piperita presented no toxic effects on the intestinal cell line IEC-6. Our results demonstrated antigiardial activity of Mentha x piperita, indicating its potential value as therapeutic agent against G. lamblia infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Giardia lamblia / drug effects*
  • Giardia lamblia / growth & development
  • Giardia lamblia / metabolism
  • Giardia lamblia / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Intestines / cytology
  • Intestines / drug effects
  • Mentha piperita / chemistry*
  • Mentha piperita / toxicity
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Microscopy, Video
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity
  • Trophozoites / drug effects
  • Trophozoites / growth & development
  • Trophozoites / metabolism
  • Trophozoites / ultrastructure


  • Plant Extracts