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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Cytotoxic and anthelmintic potential of crude saponins isolated from Achillea Wilhelmsii C. Koch and Teucrium Stocksianum boiss

Niaz Ali1*, Syed Wadood Ali Shah2, Ismail Shah2, Ghayour Ahmed2, Mehreen Ghias2 and Imran Khan3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Khyber Medical University, Peshawar, KPK, Pakistan

2 Department of Pharmacy, University of Malakand, Chakdara, Dir, KPK, Pakistan

3 Department of Biotechnology, University of Malakand, Chakdara, Dir, KPK, Pakistan

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011, 11:106  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-106

Published: 3 November 2011



Saponins isolated from plant sources have a number of traditional and industrial applications. Saponins have pharmacological effects like anti-inflammatory, molluscicidal, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antidiabetic, anticancer, anticonvulsant, anthelmintic, antitussive and cytotoxic activities. The current work describes the anthelmintic and cytotoxic activities of crude saponins of Achillea Wilhelmsii and Teucrium Stocksianum as these plants are rich with saponins.


Brine shrimp cytotoxic activity of crude saponins was determined by Meyer et al. (1982) at test concentrations of 1000 μg/ml, 100 μg/ml, 10 μg/ml, 7.5 μg/ml, 5.0 μg/ml, 2.5 μg/ml and 1.25 μg/ml. Percentage mortality of test concentrations was determined. Similarly, in vitro anthelmintic activity was determined against roundworms, tapeworms and earthworms. Albendazole and piperazine citrate at concentration 10 mg/ml were used as standard anthelmintic drugs.


Crude saponins of Achillea wilhelmsii (CSA) and Teucrium stocksianum (CST) had, respectively, cytotoxic activity with LC50 values 2.3 ± 0.16 and 5.23 ± 0. 34 μg/ml. For in vitro anthelmintic activity, time for paralysis and death of parasites (parasiticidal activity) was noted. At concentration 40 mg/ml, crude saponins of Achillea wilhelmsii are 1.96 and 2.12 times more potent than albendazole against Pheretima posthuma and Raillietina spiralis, respectively. Similarly, at concentration 40 mg/ml, crude saponins of Teucrium stocksianum (CST) has 1.89, 1.96 and 1.37 times more parasiticidal activity than albendazole against Pheretima posthuma, Raillietina spiralis and Ascardia galli, respectively.


Crude saponins of Achillea wilhelmsii and Teucrium stocksianum have cytotoxic and anthelmintic activity. The crude saponins may be excellent sources of cytotoxic and anthelmintic constituents that warrant its isolation and purification for new drug development.