The antipruritic effects of the diets containing Gern1an chamomile on the compound 48/80-induced scratching in ddY mice were examined. Since it is reported that an injection of compound 48/80, but not histamine, induced scratching behaviour due to itch but not to pain in ddY mice (Kuraishi et al., 1995), compound 48/80-induced scratching in ddY mice seems to be a suitable parameter for evaluating antipruritic agents independent of histamine receptor antagonism.
In the mice fed the diet containing 1.2 w/,v % of the ethyl acetate extract of dried flo,ver of Ger1nan chan1omile (Matricaria recutita L.) for 11 days, the compound 48/80-induced scratching behaviour was significantly suppressed. The ethyl acetate extract of Gern1an chamomile dose dependently suppressed compound 48/80-induced scratching without affecting body weight increase. The ethyl acetate fraction of the ethanol extract and the ethanol extract of hot ,vater extraction residue of German chamomile flower also showed strong inhibition on the compound 48/80-induced scratching. The inhibitory effects of the dietary intake of the German chamomile extracts on compound 48/80-induced itchscratch response were comparable to oxatomide (10 1ng/kg, p.o.), an anti-allergic agent.