Turkish Journal of Biology




Throughout history folk medicine has served as an alternative or complimentary method of treating disorders like intestinal colic. Mistletoe is a common name for many species of semi-parasitic plants that grow on trees throughout the world, and has been used widely to treat intestinal colic. We conducted a study to evaluate the effect of freeze-dried (group 1) and heat-treated (group 2) extracts of Viscum album subsp. album leaves on contractions induced by acetylcholine in isolated hamster intestinal segments (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum). Freeze-dried extracts decreased intestinal contractions in all the intestinal segments (P < 0.05). The strongest relaxant effect was observed in the jejunum and the weakest was seen in the duodenum. Higher doses of heat-treated extracts were required to affect segmental contractions than that of freeze-dried extracts (P < 0.05); heat-treated extracts had the greatest effect on reducing contractions in the jejunum and the least effect in the duodenum. Mistletoe extracts affected the level of contractions in a dose- and extraction preparation-dependent manner. The results of this study show that mistletoe extracts could be effective against intestinal motility problems and that they have potential use as a therapeutic remedy for intestinal colic.


Medicinal plant, colic, mistletoe, Viscum album subsp. album, organ bath

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