Acceleration of Skin Wound Healing with Tragacanth (Astragalus) Preparation: An Experimental Pilot Study in Rats
Gum tragacanth is a natural complex mixture of polysaccharides and alkaline minerals extracted from species of Astragalus plant, which is found widely in arid regions of the Middle East. In a pilot experimental study we examined the effects of its topical application on wound healing in ten albino adult male rats. Two similar parasagittal elliptical full-thickness wounds (control vs. test samples) were created on the dorsum of each animal. Test group samples were fully covered by a thin layer of gum tragacanth daily. The extent of wound healing was evaluated by planimetric analysis on multiple occasions during the 10-day study period. On the 7th day of the study, the percent of wound closure was significantly higher in gum tragacanth-treated specimens compared to the control samples (87%±2% vs. 70%±4%, P<0.001). The majority of wounds in the test group were completely closed by the 10th day of the study. The difference in wound healing index measured by histological examination on day 10 of the study was also statistically meaningful between the two groups (0.624±0.097 vs. 0.255±0.063, P<0.05). The results of this study clearly showed the useful effects of topical application of gum tragacanth in acceleration of skin wound contraction and healing. More studies are encouraged to identify the implicating agents and precisely understand the mechanism by which they exert their wound healing effects.
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