Diuretic activity of the aqueous extracts of Carum carvi and Tanacetum vulgare in normal rats.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Apr 4;110(3):458-63. Epub 2006 Oct 19. PMID: 17113735
In the Moroccan traditional medicine, the ripe fruits of Carum carvi L. (Apiaceae) and the leaves of Tanacetum vulgare L. (Asteraceae/Compositae), two widely available plant materials, are used as diuretics. Since, the diuretic activity of these substances has not been investigated in scientifically controlled studies, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the diuretic potential of aqueous extracts of Carum carvi fruit (caraway) and the leaves of Tanacetum vulgare (tansy) in normal rats after acute and sub-chronic oral administration. Water extracts of Carum carvi and Tanacetum vulgare (100 mg/kg) or the reference drug, furosemide (10 mg/kg) were administrated orally to male Wistar rats and their urine output was quantitated at several intervals of time after the dose. After single doses of the extracts of both caraway seeds and tansy leaves, urine output was significantly increased at all time points, and at 24 h after the dose, the total volume of urine excreted was similar for the plant extracts and furosemide. Both extracts increased urinary levels of Na(+) and K(+), to about the same extent, while furosemide increased urinary levels of only Na(+) and decreased urinary K(+). Despite changes in urinary excretion of the electrolytes, plasma Na(+) and K(+) levels were not affected by any of the three substances. In the 8-day sub-chronic study, all three substances induced significant diuresis and natriuresis; only tansy increased urinary potassium excretion. The plant extracts did not appear to have renal toxicity or any other adverse effects during the study period. In conclusion, water extracts of both Carum carvi and Tanacetum vulgare have strong diuretic action confirming their ethnopharmacological use. From the pattern of excretion of water, sodium and potassium, it may be deduced that there are atleast two types of active principals present in these extracts, one having a furosemide-like activity and the other a thiazide-like activity.