In Vitro Genotoxic Effects of Four Helichrysum Species in Human Lymphocytes Cultures
Helichrysum sanguineum, Helichrysum pamphylicum, Helichrysum orientale, Helichrysum noeanum (Asteraceae) are medicinal plants. For centuries, they have been used as tea in Turkey because of their medicinal properties. So far no scientifc evidence has been found in a literature survey regarding the genotoxic effects of these plants. This work evaluated the genotoxic effects on human lymphocyte cultures induced by methanol extracts of these plants, assayed in different concentrations (0.01, 0.05, 0.1, 0.5 and 1 mg/mL). According to the results, Helichrysum noeanum, Helichrysum pamphylicum and Helichrysum sanguineum induced the formation of micronuclei and decreased the mitotic and replication indexes. Helichrysum orientale did not affect these parameters, whereas Helichrysum noeanum, Helichrysum pamphylicum and Helichrysum sanguineum were clearly genotoxic. They should therefore not be used freely in alternative medicine, although their antiproliferative activity may suggest antimitotic and anticarcinogenic properties. Helichrysum orientale could be used in alternative medicine.