Scoparia dulcis L. (Family: Scrophulariaceae) is an herb native to America and in tropics and widely present in Karnataka, India. This plant has been traditionally used to cure many liver aliments. Phytochemical screening has revealed that the plant contains diterpenoids, flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids, triterpenes, hexacosonol, ?-sitosterol, ketone, dulcitone and amellin. Liver cirrhosis represents the common pathological outcome for the majority of chronic liver insults (e.g. alcohol, autoimmune, or viral injury, even oxidative stress). The therapeutic potential of antioxidants with respect to liver toxicity has been realized marginally so far. In the present study the in vitro antioxidant activity and antihepatotoxic activity of hydroalcoholic extract of S. dulcis (HASD) was investigated against CCl4 induced liver damage in rats. The extracts showed in vitro free radical scavenging activity against DPPH free radicals. The in vivo hepatoprotective activity study for HASD extracts at an oral dose of 500 mg/kg and 800 mg/kg, exhibited a significant (P<0.01) protective effect against CCl4 induced changes in serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (SGOT), glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT), serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total billirubin and an increased level of total protein in treated rats and on liver histopathology, as compared to positive control. The above results are comparable to the standard, silymarin. In conclusion, the hydroalcoholic extract of S. dulcis exhibits significant hepatoprotective activity against CCl4 induced liver damage in rats because of their free radical scavenging ability.
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