Research on the Turkish medicinal plant
In Turkey, the fresh fruit juice ofEcbalium elaterium (Cucurbitaceae) is directly applied into the nostrils for the treatment of sinusitis. Clinical tests on voluntary patients revealed that the healing rate of double-high dosage application is higher than that of the single-low dosage (71.0 and 56.6%, respectively). In addition, total relief from the main symptoms is observed in 20% of the patients, although the sinuses are not completely drained off on x-ray examination. As the next step, the active anti-inflammatory principle which might be responsible for its activity is isolated through the fraction of the fruit juice with solvent extraction and preparative TLC. For the fractionation process, the effects of the fractions on increased vascular permeability induced by AcOH in mice are used and the structure of the active anti-inflammatory principle thus obtained is elucidated as cucurbitacin B. Further studies are conducted to evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of cucurbitacin B using serotonin- and bradykinin-induced edemas in mice. On the other hand, cucurbitacin B content in the juice is determined as 2.48% by HPLC.