Allium cepa (Family Liliaceae) is a reputed Indian medicinal herb that is prescribed as an effective remedy for several ailments in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. The aim of this study was to evaluate its efficacy against various events responsible for Type I allergic reactions. A herbal fraction (ALC-02) from A. cepa (bulb) inhibited histamine release and attenuated intracellular calcium levels in Compound 48/80-induced rat peritoneal mast cells. It also prevented Compound 48/80-mediated systemic anaphylaxis while lowering histamine levels in plasma.
Allergic asthma has emerged as an important public health problem of urban populations in developed countries. Very often herbal medicine is used to treat this widespread disease, due to the lack of efficacy and the important side effects related to the classical drugs in use. Along this line, Ocimum gratissimum (Og) is a plant widely used in Brazilian folk medicine to treat inflammatory disorders, such as asthma.