Mutagenicity and antimutagenicity of extracts of three spices and a medicinal plant in Thailand

Mutat Res. 1993 Nov;303(3):135-42. doi: 10.1016/0165-7992(93)90026-r.


Three kinds of spices (caraway, coriander and black pepper seeds) and a medicinal plant called 'tong tak' in Thai (Baliospermum axillar, a species of the spurge family) were fractionated into hot water, methanol and hexane extracts. These extracts were not mutagenic for Salmonella typhimurium strains TA98 and TA100 by the Ames assay. However, when the extracts were treated with nitrite, samples of the water and methanol extracts were mutagenic for strain TA100 without metabolic activation. The mutagenicity of the nitrite-treated methanol and hot water extracts of black pepper was highest (8380 and 22,200 His+ per 0.1 g of spice powder, respectively), and that of the nitrite-treated hot water extracts of caraway and tong tak was moderate. The hot water extracts were examined for their antimutagenic activity against mutagenicity induced by various carcinogens by the Ames assay, using the preincubation technique. The tested samples (equivalent to 1-2 mg of spice powder) reduced the mutagenicity induced by 2.7 nmole (397 ng) of N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine by more than 84%, and that induced by dimethylnitrosamine (1.48 mg) or ICR-170 (10 ng) by 30-60%. However, they did not inhibit the mutagenic activity of 1-nitropyrene, 3-nitrofluoranthene, AF-2, methyl methanesulfonate, N-ethyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine, 2-aminoanthracene, 2-acetylaminofluorene, benzo[a]pyrene or IQ.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antimutagenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Methylnitronitrosoguanidine / toxicity
  • Mutagenicity Tests
  • Mutagens / toxicity*
  • Nitrites / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / drug effects
  • Spices / analysis*
  • Thailand


  • Antimutagenic Agents
  • Mutagens
  • Nitrites
  • Plant Extracts
  • Methylnitronitrosoguanidine