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Antispasmodic Effects of Yarrow (Achillea millefolium L.) Extract in the Isolated Ileum of Rat

A common functional disorder of the intestine that affects many people is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The factors inducing IBS are not known. Patients suffer from IBS episodes with alternating constipation and diarrhea. Abdominal pain and cramps are among the most common symptoms of IBS. Nowadays, many people have resorted to the use of natural medicines for the treatment of intestinal disorders.

Medicinal plants have been used for more than 2000 years. Increasing attention has been paid to herbal products because of their capability and cheaper cost in recent years. One of the common natural medicines used for the treatment of IBS is peppermint oil which has a spasmolytic effect. There are various herbal medicines traditionally used for intestinal disorders and diarrhea. A famous characteristic of these medicinal plants is their spasmolytic activity. Therefore, the selection of the most effective herbs in this field is of particular interest.

Achillea millefolium L. (Asteraceae) grows wildly in Asia, Europe, North Africa, and North America. Its different types have been used by local people as folk or traditional medicinal plants. Bumadaran is a known name for several species of Achillea in Iran. It is cultivated in Iran and widely used in traditional medicine for gastrointestinal disorders.

Several effects such as antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive and antihyperlipidemia, and antitumor have been reported for Achillea. Also, effects on the gastrointestinal tract such as antiulcer, antispasmotic, antibacterial (Helicobacter pylori), choleretic, and hepatoprotective have been reported.