Open Access Research article

Acute toxicity, brine shrimp cytotoxicity, anthelmintic and relaxant potentials of fruits of Rubus fruticosus Agg

Niaz Ali1*, Umer Aleem1, Syed Wadood Ali Shah2, Ismail Shah2, Muhammad Junaid2, Ghayour Ahmed2, Waqar Ali3 and Mehreen Ghias2

Author Affiliations

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

2 Department of Pharmacy, University of Malakand, Chakdara Dir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

3 Department of Pharmacy, Abasyn University, Peshawar, Pakistan

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:138  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-138

Published: 18 June 2013



Rubus fruticosus is used in tribal medicine as anthelmintic and an antispasmodic. In the current work, we investigated the anthelmintic and antispasmodic activities of crude methanol extract of fruits of R. fruticosus on scientific grounds. Acute toxicity and brine shrimp cytotoxicity activity of the extract were also performed.


Acute toxicity study of crude methanol extract of R. fruticosus was performed on mice. In vitro Brine shrimp cytotoxicity assay was performed on shrimps of Artemia salina. In vitro Anthelmintic activity was tested against Raillietina spiralis and Ascaridia galli. Relaxant activities were tested on spontaneous rabbits’ jejunal preparations. Calcium chloride curves were constructed to elucidate possible mode of action of the extract.


LD 50 of the extract for acute toxicity studies was 887.75 ± 9.22 mg/ml. While CC 50 of the extract for Brine shrimps cytotoxicity assay was 13.28 ± 2.47 μg/ml. Test samples of crude methanolic extract of R. fruticosus (Rf.Cr) at concentration 20 mg/ml showed excellent anthelmintic activity against Raillietina spiralis. Anthelmintic activity was 1.37 times of albendazole against the Raillietina spiralis at concentration 40 mg/ml. At higher concentration (40 mg/ml), Rf.Cr has 89. 83% parasiticidal activity. The mean EC50 relaxation activity for spontaneous and KCl-induced contractions was 7.96 ± 0.1 and 6.45 ± 0.29 mg/ml, respectively. EC 50 (Log[Ca++]M) for control calcium chloride curves was −1.75 ± 0.01 vs. EC 50 −1.78 ± 0.06 in the presence of 3.0 mg/ml of Rf.Cr. Similarly, EC 50(Log[Ca++]M) in the absence and presence of verapamil (0.1 μM) were −2.46 ± 0.01 and −1.72 ± 0.02, respectively.


The anthelmintic and relaxant activities explained traditional uses of R. fruticosus on scientific grounds. Relaxant activity follows the inhibition of voltage gated channels. Although the plant extract has cytotoxic effects, yet it is evident from acute toxicity study that it is safe in concentration 100 mg/kg. Further work is required to isolate pharmacologically active compounds.

Rubus fruticosus; Anthelmintic; Ascaridia galli; Raillietina spiralis; Jejunum; Antispasmodic