Methanolic Extract’s Activity of Artemisia absinthium, Vitexagnus-castus and Phytolacaamericana Against Leishmania major; in vitro and in vivo

Document Type : Original Article


1 Molecular Parasitology Laboratory, Department of Parasitology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

2 Molecular Biology Department, Biology Faculty, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran

3 Parasitology Department, Medicine School, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

4 Zoonosis Department, Center for Disease Control, Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran


Aims Leishmaniasis is the most prevalent vector- borne parasitic disease in Iran. Drug
treatment is the best way to treat leishmaniasis, while the common drugs are not efficient
enough and inevitable side effects limit using these drugs. The aim of this study was to
analyze in vitro and in vivo activity of the methanolic extract of Artemisia absinthium, Vitex
agnus-castus and Phytolaca americana Against Leishmania major.
Materials & Methods The methanolic extracts of Artemisia absinthium, Vitex agnuscastus
and Phytolaca americana were prepared by cold percolation method. The inhibitory
concentration 50 (IC50) of the plant extracts was determined against L. major promastigotes
followed by efficacy evaluation of the extracts against amastigotes and in vivo assay in the
BALB/c animal model. The data was analyzed with SPSS 19 software using Student’s T test
and ANOVA.
Findings Artemisia absinthium had the highest amount of active compounds against
promastigotes of L. major (IC50=159.45) and antiprolifrative activity of Artemisia absinthium
on both forms of L. major (extracellular promastigotes and intracellular amastigotes) was
the highest (MI=33%). Vitex agnus-castus had the least toxic effect for macrophages (8%). All
extracts limited the progression of lesion size versus control group, however, only inhibitory
effect of Artemisia absinthium extract was statistically significant.
Conclusion Artemisia absinthium is the most effective growth inhibitor of amastigotes in
animal lesions and it is safe for drug application in human and animals.