Allergic asthma is a persistent inflammatory disease of the bronchial airways in which various characteristics are seen such as recurrent reversible obstacle of the airflow, eosinophilia, airways hyperreactivity, overproduction of mucus, and airway remodeling. Zizyphus jujuba Mill, a famous oriental traditional medicine, has been reported to exhibit diverse activities in biological systems including the respiratory system. However, a little information is available on its antiasthmatic activity.
It is a tree belonging to family Rhamnaceae and is observed in almost all parts of India. The plant has different pharmacological activities, for example, anthelmintic, cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, antinociceptive and anticonvulsant, antipyretic, hypoglycemic & hypolipidemic activity. The fruits of Zizyphus jujuba (FZJ) known to stimulate bile production, prevent allergies, and promote blood circulation. Jujuboside B (JB) is a natural saponin and one of the active constituent of fruits of Zizyphus jujuba. In an investigation, JB was isolated from ethanolic extracts of fruits of Zizyphus jujuba (EZJF). EZJF and JB were then evaluated for anti-asthmatic activity using various screening methods. Results showed that EZJF and JB significantly inhibited clonidine-induced catalepsy, milk- induced leucocytosis and eosinophilia, clonidine-induced mast cell degranulation, and passive paw anaphylaxis. The number of inflammatory cells in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was considerably lowered and the severity of pulmonary inflammation was alleviated in the mice pretreated with JB. EZJF and JB showed potent anti- asthmatic activity. Hence EZJF and JB possess a potential role in the treatment of asthma.