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The Effects of a Hydroalcoholic Extract of Matricaria chamomilla Flower on the Pituitary-Gonadal Axis and Ovaries of Rats


Habibollah Johari 1 , * , Esfandyar sharifi 2 , Masume mardan 2 , Farshid kafilzadeh 3 , Vahid Hemayatkhah 3 , Hossen kargar 3 , Nasim Nikpoor 4


1 Department of Biology, Darab Branch, Islamic Azad University,, IR Iran

2 Department of Biology, Kazeron Branch, Islamic Azad University, IR Iran

3 Department of Biology, Jahrom Branch, Islamic Azad University, IR Iran

4 Kish University of Medical Science, IR Iran


International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism: 9 (2); 330-334
Article Type: Original Article
Received: April 1, 2011
Accepted: June 3, 2011




Background: Chamomile plant extracts contain phytoestrogen compounds. These compounds act as agonist or antagonist estrogen receptors and as aromatase enzyme inhibitors, thus affecting the level of steroid hormones. In traditional medicine, chamomile is used to relieve menstrual pain and as a housing drug.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a hydroalcoholic extract of Matricaria chamomilla flowers on the pituitary-gonadal axis and on the ovaries of rats.
Materials and Methods: In the present study, 45 female Wistar rats were divided into 5 groups of 9: the control, sham, and experimental groups I, II, and III; rats in the experimental groups I, II, and III received intraperitoneal injections of 10, 20, and 40 mg/kg of a hydroalcoholic extract of chamomilla flowers for 14 days, respectively. Twenty-four hours after the last treatment, blood samples were obtained from the heart, centrifuged, and then the sera were evaluated for determining the concentration of gonadotropins, estrogen, and progesterone by radioimmunoassay. In addition, the ovaries were removed and fixed, and ovarian sections were studied stereologically.
Results: No significant changes in body weight were detected for the different groups, except experimental group III, which showed a decrease. Furthermore, varying the amount of chamomilla extract had no effect on the amount of the luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. In experimental group I that received 10 mg/kg chamomilla extract, the serum concentration of estrogen showed a significant decrease, while that of progesterone showed a meaningful increase. The mean number of secondary follicles and corpora lutea were not significantly different for the different groups, but a significant decline was observed in the mean number of primary and graafian follicles in the experimental group treated with 20 and 40 mg/kg hydroalcoholic extract of the chamomilla flower.
Conclusions: The phytoestrogen present in the hydroalcoholic extract of chamomilla causes a decrease in the serum level of estrogen.

  • Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:
    Changes due to phytoestrogen and coumarin compounds present in the hydroalcoholic extracts of Chamomile could affect serum concentration of estrogen and progesterone. These hormonal changes cause a decrease in the number of ovarian follicles.
  • Please cite this paper as:
    Johari H, sharifi E, mardan M, kafilzadeh F, Hemayatkhah V, kargar H, et al. The Effects of a Hydroalcoholic Extract of Matricaria chamomilla Flower on the Pituitary-Gonadal Axis and Ovaries of Rats. Int J Endocriol Metab. 2011;9(2):in press.
  • DOI: 10.5812/kowsar.1726913X.1822

Copyright© 2011 Kowsar M.P.Co. All rights reserved.


Matricaria Chamomilla Ovary Estrogen progesterone Rat Pituitary Gonad

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