The Effects of Lepidium sativum Seeds on Fracture-Induced Healing in Rabbits

Abdullah bin Habeeballah bin Abdullah Juma, FRCSEd

In This Article


Fracture healing and its pathophysiologic process have been the axis of enormous studies and observations. Factors accelerating or hindering healing were diverse and unpredictable.[1] Examples were the utilization of recombinant osteogenic protein-1, which accelerates fracture healing,[2,3] mechanical vibration along the axis of the fracture,[4] ion resonance electromagnetic field stimulation,[5] and static magnetic force with samarian cobalt magnets.[6] However, the use of nutritional elements to treat some ailments and fractures is as ancient as the history of human beings.[7,8] One of those plants that was used in traditional medicine was Lepidium sativum.[7,8] It was given the name of Le Cresson (the cress) and known as a division of crucifers.[8] The plant was well recognized in European communities as Herba Lepidii Sativi, and its consumption had increased in the former Soviet Union and Western European countries as a source of vitamins, diuresis effect, a stimulant of bile function, and a cough reliever.[9] In addition, this plant was used in the community of Saudi Arabia as an important element in Saudi folk medicine for multiple applications, but mainly in fracture healing.[7,10] Different Arabic names, such as Rashad/Hurf/Thuffa, were given to L sativum in Arabic countries, including Saudi Arabia, which has the plant grown in Hijaz, AlQaseem, and the Eastern province.[7] The roots of the plant, leaves, and their seeds were used traditionally, but the effect of the seeds on fracture healing was noticed publicly in folk medicine and has been reported in rats.[10]

The cost of the seeds in the local market is 20-30 Saudi riyals (5-6 Euros) per 1 kg. The average human adult weight (between 50-70 kg) requires 2-3 kg of seeds for 1 month consumption on the basis of an average daily oral intake of 75-105 g. This, of course, is very cheap when compared with the other fracture healing adjuvants, which are quite expensive.

The personal clinical observation of the author in the traditional treatment of fractures, which clearly showed that L sativum seeds have marked effects on the acceleration of fracture healing in the human skeleton, has propagated interest to study this in the laboratory to document this phenomenon radiologically from callus formation and compare it with the control group for the presence or absence of any statistically significant relationships.

The specific objective of this study is to prove that L sativum seeds have a positive effect on accelerating fracture healing in vivo in rabbits, which by itself supports the observation noticed in traditional medicine. This, in fact, carries a great impact for the treatment of fractures to be applied clinically in the future.


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