Arrowleaf dock leaves used to treat hepatic fibrosis

A recent Pakistani study investigated the therapeutic properties of the arrowleaf dock (Rumex hastatus) in the treatment of hepatic fibrosis. It reported that bioactive compounds in the leaves of the medicinal herb showed hepatoprotective properties that reverse the oxidizing damage of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) associated with liver fibrosis.

The study was conducted by researchers from Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad. The findings were published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • People in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia used arrowleaf dock leaves to treat numerous liver disorders. An earlier study by the researchers determined that the ethyl acetate (ERL) and methanolic (MRL) fractions in the leaves contained a large amount of easily accessed antioxidants.
  • Researchers set up a rat model with eight groups of lab animals. One group received silymarin extract from milk thistle, two groups got ERL from arrowleaf dock leaves, and another two groups were given MRL. These groups also received CCl4, as did an untreated group, to simulate liver fibrosis.
  • They analyzed liver function markers for CCl4 damage. They also measured any changes in the lipid profile. Finally, they compared the effectiveness of the different antioxidant treatments.
  • They reported that CCl4 caused cellular and DNA damage in hepatic tissues, leading to hepatic fibrosis and disturbed antioxidant enzyme levels. However, co-administration of both arrowleaf dock extracts and silymarin restored normal liver function, lipid profile, and antioxidant enzyme levels.
  • Furthermore, arrowleaf dock extracts showed similar levels of effectiveness as silymarin,.

Based on their findings, the Pakistani researchers recommended further exploration of the hepatoprotective properties of extracts from arrowleaf dock leaves.

The full text of the study can be found at this link. You can read more about herbal remedies at

Journal Reference:

Sahreen S, Khan MR, Khan RA. EVALUATION OF RUMEX HASTATUS LEAVES AGAINST HEPATIC FIBROSIS: A RAT MODEL. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;17(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-1943-5.

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