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Large scale screening of commonly used Iranian traditional medicinal plants against urease activity

Farzaneh Nabati1, Faraz Mojab2, Mehran Habibi-Rezaei3, Kowsar Bagherzadeh1, Massoud Amanlou14 and Behnam Yousefi5*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 School of Biology, College of Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 Medicinal Plants Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 School of Advanced Medical Technologies, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

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DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 2012, 20:72  doi:10.1186/2008-2231-20-72

Published: 31 October 2012


Background and purpose of the study

H. pylori infection is an important etiologic impetus usually leading to gastric disease and urease enzyme is the most crucial role is to protect the bacteria in the acidic environment of the stomach. Then urease inhibitors would increase sensitivity of the bacteria in acidic medium.


137 Iranian traditional medicinal plants were examined against Jack bean urease activity by Berthelot reaction. Each herb was extracted using 50% aqueous methanol. The more effective extracts were further tested and their IC50 values were determined.


37 plants out of the 137 crude extracts revealed strong urease inhibitory activity (more than 70% inhibition against urease activity at 10 mg/ml concentration). Nine of the whole studied plants crude extracts were found as the most effective with IC50 values less than 500 μg/ml including; Rheum ribes, Sambucus ebulus, Pistachia lentiscus, Myrtus communis, Areca catechu, Citrus aurantifolia, Myristica fragrans, Cinnamomum zeylanicum and Nicotiana tabacum.


The most potent urease inhibitory was observed for Sambucus ebulus and Rheum ribes extracts with IC50 values of 57 and 92 μg/ml, respectively.

Urease inhibitor; Iranian traditional medicinal plants; Sambucus ebulus; Rheum ribes; Screening of natural products