Aerial parts of Echinops echinatus (Family: Asteraceae) were subjected to in vivo hepatoprotective study in order to validate its traditional use in hepatobiliary disorders, by native people of Cholistan Desert, Pakistan. Hepatoprotective effects of pre-treatment with aerial parts (ethanolic extract) of E. echinatus (EE), (500 and 750 mg/kg/day, p.o., for 7 days) against CCl4 (0.75 ml/kg., s/c.) intoxicated rabbits were evaluated by serum biochemical parameters and liver histopathological observations. Silymarin (100 mg/kg/day, p.o., for 7 days) was used as a standard hepatoprotective drug. CCl4 intoxicated group had raised levels of SGOT, SGPT and ALP significantly but TB level was not raised as compared to normal control group. EE Extract (500 mg/kg) produced more significant results as compared to extract (750 mg/kg). However, (both doses of 500 and 750 mg/kg) showed hepatoprotection as obvious by significant reinstatement of levels of SGOT, SGPT, ALP and even TB as compared to CCl4 and Silymarin control groups. Histopathological examination of the liver tissue further corroborated these results. Therefore, the outcome of the present study supports the traditional beliefs on hepatoprotective effects of E. echinatus (aerial parts).
Key words: Echinops echinatus, hepatoprotection, Carbon tetrachloride, serum biochemical parameters, histopathology of liver.
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