Background & objectives: Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease transmitted by sand flies. Many investigations are performed to find an effective and safe treatment for leishmaniasis. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of herbal extracts of Thymus vulgaris (Thyme) and Achillea millefolium (Yarrow), propolis hydroalcoholic extract and systemic glucantime against cutaneous leishmaniasis in Balb/c mice.
Methods: A total of 45 mice were randomised into five groups each including nine mice. They were treated with pure ethanol 70 degrees, systemic glucantime, Achillea millefolium hydroalcoholic extract, Thymus vulgaris hydroalcoholic extract and propolis hydroalcoholic extract for six weeks. The statistical tests including student t-test were used for analysis. Data were analyzed by SPSS software, ver 13.00.
Results: Mean of ulcer size reduction were -17.66, -22.57, 43.29, 36.09 and 43.77% for the alcohol, glucantime, yarrow, thyme and propolis groups, respectively. The results were suggestive that Thymus vulgaris, Achillea millefolium and propolis hydroalcoholic extracts were significantly more effective in reduction of ulcer size as compared with glucantime (p = 0.006, 0.002 and 0.008, respectively).
Interpretation & conclusion: Our results are suggestive that Thymus vulgaris, Achillea millefolium and propolis extracts are effective for treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis in mice. Regarding these results, we suggest that efficacy of these extracts alone or in combination are evaluated against human cutaneous leishmaniasis as a randomized clinical trial.