Chlorophytum arundinaceum, Asparagus adscendens and Asparagus racemosus are used in the Indian traditional system of medicine for improving the general state of health and for stress-related immune disorders. The effects of the methanol and aqueous extracts of the tuberous roots of these plants were examined in an experimental mouse model of stress, induced by swimming. The extracts were shown to exert an inhibitory effect on pro-inflammatory cytokines, namely interleukin 1β and tumour necrosis factor α, and on the production of nitric oxide in mouse macrophage cells RAW 264.7 stimulated by lipopolysaccharide in vitro. Similar inhibition was also observed in the production of interleukin 2 in EL 4 lymphoma cells stimulated by concanavalin A. Corticosterone levels in serum and adrenal glands were measured. The findings suggest that these plants may be beneficial in the management of stress and inflammatory conditions.
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