OBJECTIVE: Natural honey (NH) and nigella sativa (NS) seeds have been in use as a natural remedy for over thousands of years in various parts of the world. The aim of this study was to assess the protective effects of NS (nigella sativa) and NH (natural honey) on acetylsalicylic acid induced gastric ulcer in an experimental model with comparison to Cimetidine (CD). STUDY DESIGN: Experimental, case control study. PLACE AND DURATION OF STUDY: Pharmacology and Pathology Department of King Edward Medical University, Lahore, from June to August 2007. METHODOLOGY: The study was conducted on 100 male albino rats, divided into 5 groups, with 20 animals in each group. Group A was used as a control and treated with Gum Tragacanth (GT). Eighty animals of the other groups were given acetylsalicylic acid (0.2 gm/kg body weight for 3 days) to produce ulcers by gavage. Two animals from each group were sacrificed for the detection of gastric ulcers. The remaining 72 animals were equally divided in four groups (B, C, D and E). The rats in group B, C and D were given NS, NH, and CD respectively while those in E were kept as such. RESULTS: No gastric lesions were seen in control group A while all the animals in group E revealed gastric ulcers. The animals of group B, C and D showed healing effects in 15/18 (83%), 14/18 (78%) and 17/18 (94%) animals grossly; 13/18 (72%), 14/18 (78%) and 16/18 (89%) rats showed recovery on microscopic examination respectively. The healing effects were almost the same in all three groups therefore, the statistical difference was not significant among them (p =0.40 and 0.65) while significant from group E (p=0.0000075, 0.0000016 and 0.0000012 respectively). CONCLUSION: NS and NH are equally effective in healing of gastric ulcer similar to cimetidine. Further broad spectrum studies as well as clinical trials should be conducted before the use of these products as routine medicines.
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