Background: Giardia lamblia is the most common intestinal parasite of humans identified worldwide. In spite of metronidazole is the most commonly used drug for the treatment of giardiasis in humans, low patient compliance and side effects especially in children encourage efforts to look for new and safe agent; many plants used in folk medicine thought to have antigiardial effect,Anethum graveolens(Dill) is an annual herb cultivated in Iraq used both as medicinal agent and as food spice. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of aqueous extract of Anethum graveolens leave in the treatment of giardiasis, compared with that of standard drug metronidazole. Patients and Methods:A prospective randomized clinical trial was carried out on 28 pediatric patients of both sexes with age of less than one year ranging from 3-11 months, who attend to outpatient private clinic in Baghdad for a period of six months from June 2013-December 2013, Patients participate in this study were allocated into two groups: Group A composed of 14 patients treated with Metronidazole 15 mg/kg three times a day for 5 days. Group B composed of 14 patients treated with Anethum graveolensaqueous extract 1ml three times a day for 5 days. Stool samples were collected at zero time before administration of treatment, after five days and after 14 days from starting the treatments to checkthe efficacy of treatment. Results:Administration of Anethum graveolensaqueous extract results in significant decrease in incidence of Giardia lamblia after five days of treatment indicating the efficacy of Anethum graveolensaqueous extract in the treatment of giardiasis a result that is comparable to that of metronidazole. Conclusion:This study showed that pediatric patients with giardiasis may benefit from five days treatment with Anethum graveolensaqueous extract administered as 1 ml three times daily, the improvement in the symptom with this herbal agent was comparable to the standard pharmacological agent metronidazole; results showed that Anethum graveolens is safe and tolerable over treatment course.
Key words: Giardiasis, Anethum graveolens, metronidazole, herbal medicine