Relaxant effect of ethanol extract of Carum carvi on dispersed intestinal smooth muscle cells of the guinea pig

Pharm Biol. 2010 Jan;48(1):76-80. doi: 10.3109/13880200903046161.


The present study investigates the direct effects of Carum carvi L. (Apiaceae) ethanol extract on dispersed intestinal smooth muscle cells (SMC) of guinea pigs. Effects of the plant extract on SMC and of acetylcholine (Ach) on extract pretreated SMC were measured by micrometric scanning technique. Three different extract concentrations (2.5 mg/mL, 250 mug/mL, and 25 mug/mL) were used. Ethanol extract of C. carvi reduced significantly the response of dispersed SMC to Ach. Pretreatment of SMC with the highest concentration of C. carvi ethanol extract (2.5 mg/mL) has significantly inhibited the response of SMC to Ach. The data obtained indicate a dose-dependent inhibition of the contraction induced by Ach. This response may explain, in part, the beneficial effect of caraway in relieving gastrointestinal symptoms associated with dyspepsia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carum*
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Intestine, Small / cytology
  • Intestine, Small / drug effects*
  • Intestine, Small / physiology
  • Male
  • Muscle Relaxation / drug effects*
  • Muscle Relaxation / physiology
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / cytology
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / drug effects*
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / physiology
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*


  • Plant Extracts
  • Ethanol