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The present study was undertaken to evaluate cardiotonic activity of aqueous extract of stem bark of Terminalia chebula. Different parts of this species are used in India for a wide range of medicinal purposes. Cardiotonic effect of aqueous extract of stem bark of Terminalia chebula was studied by using isolated frog heart perfusion technique (IFHP). Cardiotonic activity was studied on both normal and hypodynamic hearts. Calcium free Ringer solution was used as vehicle for administration of aqueous extract of Terminalia chebula as a test extract and digoxin as a standard. A significant increase in height of force of contraction (positive inotropic effect) no change in heart rate was observed with test extract as compared to the same dose of a standard digoxin. The present results indicated that a significant increase in height of force of contraction was observed as the dose of test extract increased. The test extract produced cardiac arrest at 3 mg/ml, a higher concentration, as compared to standard, digoxin (15µg/ml). Compared to digoxin, a drug with narrow therapeutic window, Terminalia chebula showed wide therapeutic window.
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