Introduction: Pharmacological studies confirm antispasmodic activities of chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) extract on intestinal smooth muscles and it has been suggested that chamomile increases uterus tone, but so far there is no scientific studies which support this assumption. Therefore, this study was designed to determine spasmodic and spasmolytic activities of M. chamomilla extracts on rat isolated uterus.
Methods: Hydro-alcoholic extract of M. chamomilla was prepared by maceration technique. Flavonoids rich extract was prepared by liquid in liquid extraction technique. The spasmodic effects of the extracts were assessed on spontaneously contracting rat uterus. The myorelaxant effect of M. chamomilla extracts was validated on isolated uterus contractions induced by KCl, acetylcholine (ACh), electrical field stimulation (EFS) and oxytocin.
Results: Hydro-alcoholic extract of M. chamomilla (0.8 and 1.6 mg/mL) enhanced spontaneous movement of rat isolated uterus smooth muscle suspended in an organ bath. On the other hand, flavonoids rich fraction only diminished uterus contractile activities. Flavonoids rich extract of the plant at bath concentration ranges of 40 μg/mL to 400 μg/mL attenuated uterus response to ACh, KCl, EFS and oxytocin. The hydro-alcoholic extract of M. chamomilla at higher concentration ranges (250 μg/mL to 1.5 mg/mL) inhibited uterus contractions induced by the above spasmogens.
Conclusion: The present study confirms both spasmodic and spasmolytic activities M. chamomilla hydro-alcoholic extract. Therefore, medicinal use of the crude extract of M. chamomilla may initiate uterus contraction which could increase risk of spontaneous miscarriage or premature parturition.