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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.  Pattern of self-medication with analgesics among Iranian University students in central Iran 
Background:
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.
Results:
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%).
Conclusion:
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.
doi:10.4103/2230-8229.98302
PMCID: PMC3410176  PMID: 22870417
Analgesics; Iran; students; self-medication
3.  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.
doi:10.4103/0257-7941.107354
PMCID: PMC3644756  PMID: 23661866
Memory retention; memory retrieval; mice; green Ocimum basilicum; passive avoidance
4.  Concentrations of Serum Zinc, Hemoglobin and Ferritin among Pregnant Women and their Effects on Birth Outcomes in Kashan, Iran 
Oman Medical Journal  2012;27(1):40-45.
Objectives
Zinc and Iron are essential micronutrients in fetus growth and development. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship of maternal serum Zinc, Hemoglobin and Ferritin levels with their newborns weight, height and head circumference.
Methods
This cross sectional-analytical study carried out among pregnant women referred to Naghavi Polyclinic, Kashan, Iran from November 2009 to October 2010. One hundred and twenty-nine pregnant women in the third trimester were selected and anthropometric factors of their newborns (weight, height and head circumference) and their relation to serum Zn, Hemoglobin and Ferritin concentrations were assessed.
Results
Serum Hemoglobin deficiency (<11g/dl), serum Ferritin deficiency (<12 µg/L) and serum Zn deficiency (<66 µg/dl) were present in 11 (8.5%), 9 (7%) and 9 (7%) women, respectively. The proportion of newborns with birth weight of 2500-2999 g was greater among mothers with lower Hemoglobin (<11 g/dl) compared to mothers with normal Hemoglobin (≥11 g/dl; p=0.04). Multiple regression analysis showed that among biochemical characteristics of pregnant women, serum Hemoglobin levels were positively correlated with low birth weight (β=0.26; p=0.04). But serum Zn and Ferritin levels were not significantly associated with weight, height and head circumference.
Conclusion
Low maternal serum hemoglobin levels are associated with low birth weight and does not have any association with birth height or head circumference; but there was no significant association between maternal serum zinc and Ferritin levels with weight, height and head circumference.
doi:10.5001/omj.2012.08
PMCID: PMC3282140  PMID: 22359724
Zinc; Hemoglobin; Birth weight; Birth height; Birth head circumference

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