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1.  Therapeutic Uses and Pharmacological Properties of Garlic, Shallot, and Their Biologically Active Compounds 
Objective(s): Garlic (Allium sativum L. family Liliaceae) is well known in Iran and its leaves, flowers, and cloves have been used in traditional medicine for a long time. Research in recent decades has shown widespread pharmacological effects of A. sativum and its organosulfur compounds especially Allicin. Studies carried out on the chemical composition of the plant show that the most important constituents of this plant are organosulfur compounds such as allicin, diallyl disulphide, S-allylcysteine, and diallyl trisulfide. Allicin represents one of the most studied among these naturally occurring compounds. In addition to A. sativum, these compounds are also present in A. hirtifolium (shallot) and have been used to treat various diseases. This article reviews the pharmacological effects and traditional uses of A. sativum, A. hirtifolium, and their active constituents to show whether or not they can be further used as potential natural sources for the development of novel drugs.
Materials and Methods: For this purpose, the authors went through a vast number of sources and articles and all needed data was gathered. The findings were reviewed and classified on the basis of relevance to the topic and a summary of all effects were reported as tables.
Conclusion: Garlic and shallots are safe and rich sources of biologically active compounds with low toxicity. Further studies are needed to confirm the safety and quality of the plants to be used by clinicians as therapeutic agents.
PMCID: PMC3874089  PMID: 24379960
Allium hirtifolium; Allium sativum; Garlic; Pharmacological effects; Shallot; Traditional uses
2.  Pharmacological and therapeutic effects of Peganum harmala and its main alkaloids 
Pharmacognosy Reviews  2013;7(14):199-212.
Wild Syrian rue (Peganum harmala L. family Zygophyllaceae) is well-known in Iran and various parts of this plant including, its seeds, bark, and root have been used as folk medicine. Recent years of research has demonstrated different pharmacological and therapeutic effects of P. harmala and its active alkaloids, especially harmine and harmaline. Analytical studies on the chemical composition of the plant show that the most important constituents of this plant are beta-carboline alkaloids such as harmalol, harmaline, and harmine. Harmine is the most studied among these naturally occurring alkaloids. In addition to P. harmala (Syrian rue), these beta-carbolines are present in many other plants such as Banisteria caapi and are used for the treatment of different diseases. This article reviews the traditional uses and pharmacological effects of total extract and individual active alkaloids of P. harmala (Syrian rue).
PMCID: PMC3841998  PMID: 24347928
Harmine; harmaline; peganum harmala; pharmacological effects; wild syrian rue
3.  Pattern of self-medication with analgesics among Iranian University students in central Iran 
Self-medication is defined as the use of drugs for the treatment of self-diagnosed disorders. It is influenced by factors such as education, family, society, law, availability of drugs and exposure to advertisements. This study was performed to evaluate self-medication with analgesics and its pattern among different groups of Iranian University Students.
Materials and Methods:
A randomized, cross-sectional, multicenter study was conducted from December 2009 to February 2010. The target population of this study was 564 students out of 10,000 students attending four medical and non-medical science universities in Qom state. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 16, and analysis was conducted with descriptive analysis procedures.
76.6% of the students had used analgesics in self-medication in the previous 3 months. The frequency of analgesic use in the study period was once in 19.2% of the participants, twice in 22.2%, three times in 16.3% and more than three times in 35.5% of the participants, although 6.8% of them were not sure when they were used. Of all the respondents, 49.8% reported headache as the problem. This was the most common problem, after which came Dysmenorrhea,headache and stomach ache. Bone and joint pains were other problems that led to the use of analgesics. The most commonly used source of information for self-medication with analgesics was advice from friends and family (54.7%), previously prescribed medications (30.1%), their medical knowledge (13.3%) and recommendation of a pharmacist (1.9%).
Self-medication with analgesics is very high among Iranian students in Qom city. This could be an index for other parts of the Iranian community. Because the source of information about analgesics is inappropriate, we would recommend education courses about analgesics and self-medication on the radio and television for the entire population.
PMCID: PMC3410176  PMID: 22870417
Analgesics; Iran; students; self-medication
4.  The effects of green Ocimum basilicum hydroalcoholic extract on retention and retrieval of memory in mice 
Ancient Science of Life  2012;31(4):185-189.
The purpose of this study was evaluation of green Ocimum basilicum (sweet basil) hydroalcoholic extract on memory retention and retrieval of mice by using passive avoidance apparatus. For this purpose, after weighting, coding and classifying the mice, they were grouped (n = 8) as follow as: test groups (electric shock plus sweet basil extract by doses: 100, 200, 400 and 800 mg/kg, i.p.), control group (Only electric shock) and blank group (electric shock plus normal saline). In all mentioned groups delay time of leaving the platform for both retention and retrieval test of memory was measured. In retention test, sweet basil extract was administered immediately after receiving electric shock and in retrieval test it was administered 24 hours after receiving electric shock. The results indicated that hydroalcoholic extract of green Ocimum basilicum significantly (P < 0.05) increased memory retention. The best response was achieved with 400 mg/Kg of the extract. Also, results showed that sweet basil extract significantly (P < 0.05) increased memory retrieval and the best result was achieved with 400 mg/Kg too. It can be concluded that memory enhancing effects of green Ocimum basilicum is because of antioxidant activity of flavonoids, tannins and terpenoids.
PMCID: PMC3644756  PMID: 23661866
Memory retention; memory retrieval; mice; green Ocimum basilicum; passive avoidance
5.  Spasmogenic Activity of the Seed of Terminalia chebula Retz in Rat Small Intestine: In Vivo and In Vitro Studies 
Terminalia chebula Retz is traditionally used to relieve constipation. The current study was performed to investigate the pharmacological action of aqueous extract of Terminalia chebula seeds (ATC) in vitro and in vivo.
Terminal pieces of rat ileum were suspended in organ bath containing Tyrode solution. The ileum spontaneous motility frequency and contractility were recorded isotonically. To induce ileal contraction, carbachol and ATC were added to the organ bath. In addition, the effect of hexamethonium, indomethacin, atropine, and verapamil on the ATC-induced ileal contractions was also investigated. The effectiveness of ATC on relieving morphine-induced constipation was investigated in an in vivo study by measuring the faecal number, faecal water content, and intestinal transit ratio.
ATC increased the frequency of ileum motility and tension of contraction dose-dependently (P < 0.05). Responses induced by ATC were inhibited by pre-treatment of the tissue with verapamil. The ATC activities were not affected by atropine, hexamethonium, and indomethacin. The faecal number and faecal water content were increased dose-dependently by ATC (P < 0.05).
The excitatory effects of ATC on ileal contractile frequency and tension are possibly mediated through Ca2+ channels activation. The results of the present study support the traditional usage of ATC for the treatment of constipation.
PMCID: PMC3216221  PMID: 22135597
calcium channels; gut; intestinal motility; morphine; plant extracts; rat; seed; Terminalia

Results 1-5 (5)