Ferutinin substance is found in an herb called Zallouh, used as an aphrodisiac herb in Lebanon.
July 14 2015

Benefit for cancer prevention or treatment
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014. Ferutinin, an apoptosis inducing terpenoid from Ferula ovina. A current hurdle in cancer management is the intrinsic or acquired resistance of cancer cells to chemical agents that restricts the efficacy of therapeutic strategies. Accordingly, there is an increasing desire to discover new natural compounds with selective toxicity to combat malignancies. In present study, the cytotoxic and apoptosis- inducing activities of ferutinin, a terpenoid derivative from Ferula ovina, were investigated on human breast (MCF7) and bladder (TCC) cancer cells as well as normal fibroblasts (HFF3).The toxicity and DNA damage inducing effects of ferutinin were studied by MTT and comet assays, DAPI and PI staining and DNA laddering. The IC50 values of ferutinin were identified and compared with routine prescribed drugs, doxorubicin and vincristine, by MTT test. Alkaline comet assay and DAPI staining revealed DNA damage due to ferutinin, which was significantly higher in MCF7 and TCC than HFF3 cells. Apoptosis induction was evidenced by PI staining and DNA laddering. Our results suggest that ferutinin could be considered as an effective anticancer agent for future in vivo and clinical experiments.

Histol Histopathol. 2014. Ferutinin dose-dependent effects on uterus and mammary gland in ovariectomized rats. The present paper completes our recent study on the effects of phytoestrogen ferutinin in preventing osteoporosis and demonstrating the superior osteoprotective effect of a 2 mg/kg/day dose in ovariectomized (OVX) rats, compared to both estrogens and lower (0.5, 1 mg/kg/day) ferutinin doses. Morphological and morphometrical analyses were performed on the effects of different doses of ferutinin administrated for one month on uterus and on mammary gland of Sprague-Dawley OVX rats, evaluated in comparison with the results for estradiol benzoate. To verify whether ferutinin provides protection against uterine and breast cancer, estimations were made of both the amount of cell proliferation (by Ki-67), and the occurrence of apoptosis (by TUNEL), two processes that in unbalanced ratio form the basis for cancer onset. The results suggest that the effects of ferutinin are dose dependent and that a 2 mg/kg/day dose might offer a better protective action against the onset of both breast and uterine carcinoma compared to ferutinin in lower doses or estradiol benzoate, increasing cellular apoptosis in glandular epithelia.

Phytomedicine. 2009. The phytoestrogen ferutinin improves sexual behavior in ovariectomized rats. The present study was designed to examine the effect of ferutinin chronic administration on sexual behavior of ovariectomized non-estrogen-primed rats. Starting from 3 weeks after ovariectomy, female rats were orally treated with ferutinin at the doses of 0.2 and 0.5 mg/kg, daily for 4 weeks. Ferutinin's effect was compared with that of estradiol benzoate, subcutaneously injected at the dose of 1.5 microg/rat twice a week. Animals were tested for sexual motivation, receptivity and proceptivity after 1, 2 and 3 weeks of treatment and for paced mating behavior after 4 weeks of treatment. Before each experimental test, they received progesterone injection (500 microg/rat). Both dosages of ferutinin significantly increased the receptive behavior in a time-dependent manner, as well as estradiol benzoate did. Also proceptive behaviors increased in ferutinin-treated animals in comparison with control ones. During the partner preference test ferutinin was able to induce a significant preference for a sexually active male over a sexually receptive female. Moreover, ferutinin restored a normal paced mating behavior, which had been suppressed by ovariectomy. These results show that ferutinin exerts an estrogenic activity in ovariectomized non-estrogen-primed female rats.

Ferutinin stimulates nitric oxide synthase activity in median eminence of the rat.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2006; Colman-Saizarbitoria T, Boutros P, Bahsas A, Mathison Y, Garrido Mdel R, Israel A. Laboratory of Bioassays and Natural Products, Laboratory of Molecular Modeling, School of Pharmacy, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela.
Several species of Ferula genus have been used in folk medicine in digestive disorders, rheumatism, headache, arthritis, and as tranquilizers, antispasmodic and aphrodisiac. From the dry and powdered roots of Ferula hermonis Boiss was extracted the oxygenated sesquiterpene 1,5-trans-daucane type: ferutinine. The possible signaling pathway of ferutinin in nervous tissue in vitro was assessed and the results showed that this compound is able to increase nitric oxide synthase activity and inositol monophosphate accumulation (49%, each) in the median eminence of the rat brain, suggesting that compound is associated to the activation of phosphoinositide breakdown and nitric oxide production (NO), the last is a gaseous intercellular messenger known to play a broad role in human biology from homeostasis to pathology.