Effect of herbal teas on hepatic drug metabolizing enzymes in rats


College of Pharmacy, Western University of Health Sciences, 309 E. Second Street Pomona, CA 91766-1854, USA. E-mail: swanwimolruk@westernu.edu


We have investigated the effect of herbal teas (peppermint, chamomile and dandelion) on the activity of hepatic phase I and phase II metabolizing enzymes using rat liver microsomes. Female Wistar rats were divided into six groups (n = 5 each). Three groups had free access to a tea solution (2 %) while the control group had water. Two groups received either green tea extract (0.1 %) or aqueous caffeine solution (0.0625 %). After four weeks of pretreatment, different cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoforms and phase II enzyme activities were determined by incubation of liver microsomes or cytosol with appropriate substrates. Activity of CYP1A2 in the liver microsomes of rats receiving dandelion, peppermint or chamomile tea was significantly decreased (P < 0.05) to 15 %, 24 % and 39 % of the control value, respectively. CYP1A2 activity was significantly increased by pretreatment with caffeine solution. No alterations were observed in the activities of CYP2D and CYP3A in any group of the pretreated rats. Activity of CYP2E in rats receiving dandelion or peppermint tea was significantly lower than in the control group, 48 % and 60 % of the control, respectively. There was a dramatic increase (244 % of control) in the activity of phase II detoxifying enzyme UDP-glucuronosyl transferase in the dandelion tea-pretreated group. There was no change in the activity of glutathione-S-transferase. The results suggested that, like green and black teas, certain herbal teas can cause modulation of phase I and phase II drug metabolizing enzymes.