Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Sexual dysfunction is a serious problem worldwide. In Turkey, herbal products are used by some people suffering from sexual dysfunction. Despite their therapeutic advantages, some constituents of herbs are potentially toxic and pose health risks because they can be bought from the market without a prescription. Therefore, we aimed to determine the safety of herbs possessing aphrodisiac effects, chosen on the basis of their frequency of medicinal use and commercial importance in Turkey. Materials and methods: Ten herbs (Anethum graveolens, Carthamus tinctorius, Citrus aurantium, Cocos nucifera, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Melissa officinalis, Nigella arvensis, Pinus pinea, Prunus mahaleb, and Zingiber officinale) were extracted with water, methanol, and chloroform. The cyto- and genotoxic potentials of the extracts were assessed using an MTT test on a rat kidney cell line and an Ames assay in Salmonella typhimurium strains, respectively. Results: In the cytotoxic evaluation, IC50 values were 1.51-31.4 mg/mL for the methanol and chloroform extracts, while the water extracts were not cytotoxic. In the genotoxic evaluation, it was revealed that the water extracts had more mutagenic activity than the chloroform and methanol extracts. Water extract of M. officinalis was shown to have the most genotoxic activities to TA100 (±S9) and TA98 (-S9). Conclusion: These results might be useful in determining the toxic effects of herbs and lead to precautions being taken in regards to their consumption.


Herbal products, herbs, cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, MTT test, Ames assay

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