Antidiarrhoeal activity of Rhus javanica ripen
Department of Zoology, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong 793 022, India
Received 22 December 2002; accepted in revised form 5 August 2003
The antidiarrhoeal effects of the methanolic extract of Rhus javanica ripen fruits (MERJ)
were investigated by employing four experimental models of diarrhoea in Swiss albino mice. MERJ treated mice, showed significant reduction in the faecal output and protected themfrom castor oil-induced diarrhoea. The extract also reduced the intestinal fluid secretioninduced by MgSO4 and gastrointestinal motility after charcoal meal administration in thealbino mice. No mortality and visible signs of general weakness was observed in the micefollowing the test extract administration up to 2000 mgykg dose.
ᮊ 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Keywords: Rhus javanica; Antidiarrhoeal activity
In order to combat the problems of diarrhoea globally, the World Health
Organisation in its Diarrhoeal Disease Control programme has given a specialemphasis on the use of traditional folklore medicines in the control and managementof diarrhoea Rhus javanica is a small tree, which is abundant in the hilly areasof Manipur, north-east India. The ripen fruits of this plant have a long history oftraditional medicine use among the traditional healers of Naga tribal community inManipur, to treat dysentery and diarrhoea as well as the other gastrointestinaldisorders. Barring a few studies related to testing of its efficacy against herpes
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (A.K. Yadav).
0367-326X/04/$ - see front matter ᮊ 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2003.08.015
V. Tangpu, A.K. Yadav / Fitoterapia 75 (2004) 39–44
simplex and cytomegalus virus there is apparently no reference available inthe literature regarding the antidiarrhoeal effects of this plant either in humans or inany animal models. Employing experimentally induced diarrhoea in Swiss albinomice, in the present study we were interested to investigate whether the acclaimedantidiarrhoeal effect of R. javanica has any scientific justification. 2. Experimental
The ripen fruits of R. javanica L. (Anacardiaceae) were collected from Paoyi
village (Manipur, India) in the month of January, 2002. The plant was identifiedand authenticated by Dr P.B. Gurung, Department of Botany, North-Eastern HillUniversity (NEHU), Shillong. Avoucher specimen of the plant was deposited atNEHU Herbarium.
The shade dried ripen fruits of R. javanica pulverized were Soxhlet extracted
with MeOH to give an extract (yield: 13.78%), which was stored at y4 8Cuntil use.
Swiss albino mice, weighing 25–30 g, were used for the study. They were kept
at standard environmental conditions and fed with standard rodent diet (PranavAgro Industries Ltd., Delhi) and water ad libitum. 2.4. Preliminary acute toxicity test
The test extract was administered orally in 2% gum acacia at a dose—62.5, 125,
250, 500, 1000 and 2000 mgykg to a group of 5 animals each. Simultaneously, thecontrols were given 2% gum acacia. The general signs and symptoms of toxicity,intake of food and water and mortality were recorded for 48 h.
The antidiarrhoeal efficacy of R. javanica fruits methanolic extract (MERJ) was
assessed using the following four experimental models. 2.5.1. Measurement of faecal output
Five groups of animals were housed in separate cages having paper placed below
for collection of faecal matters. Group 1 (control) received 0.5 ml of 2% gumacacia; groups 2–4 were treated with MERJ at 100, 200 and 500 mgykg, p.o.,
V. Tangpu, A.K. Yadav / Fitoterapia 75 (2004) 39–44
respectively. The 5th group received 0.5 ml of 5-mgykg loperamide. The faecalmaterial collected for 12 h post treatment was dried in an incubator and weighed. The percentage reduction in the faecal output was determined
2.5.2. Castor oil-induced diarrhoea
In overnight fasted male mice, diarrhoea was induced by oral administration of
castor oil (0.5 mlymouse, p.o.). The animals were randomized into five groups of5 mice each. Group 1 served as control and received 0.5 ml of 2% of gum acacia. Groups 2–4 were given orally the test extract (100, 200 and 500 mgykg) 1 h priorto castor oil administration. The remaining group 5 received 5 mgykg of loperamideas standard. The percentage protection from diarrhoeal droppings was calculated asdescribed by Akah
Five groups of 5 animals each fasted overnight were used. Group 1 was used as
control, while groups 2–4 received the test extract (100, 200 and 500 mgykg p.o.,respectively). The last group 5 was given the standard drug, loperamide (5 mgykg). One hour later, all groups were given the diarrhoeal agent (0.5 mlymouse of a10% aq MgSO4, orally). They were killed 30 min later and the small intestineswere collected and weighed to find out the accumulation of intestinal fluid secretionevoked by MgSO
2.5.4. Gastrointestinal transit test
Five groups of 5 animals each fasted overnight were used. The test extract was
given orally to group 2–4 (100, 200 and 500 mgykg, respectively), while group 1was used as control; the 5th group received the loperamide (5 mgykg) as a standard. Five minutes later, 0.5 ml of a 3% charcoal suspension in 5% suspension oftragacanth powder was administered orally to each mouse. All the mice were killedby cervical translocation 30 min later and the distance travelled by the charcoalplug from pylorus to caecum was determined and expressed as a percentage of thetotal length of the small intestine
The significance of difference between the means was determined by the Student’s
‘t’-test and the results were regarded as significant when P-0.05. 3. Results 3.1. Preliminary acute toxicity test
It was observed that oral administration of methanolic extract of R. javanica
fruits to the mice up to 2000 mgykg dose neither showed any mortality or anyvisible clinical signs of general weakness in the animals. V. Tangpu, A.K. Yadav / Fitoterapia 75 (2004) 39–44
Table 1Effect of the methanolic extract of R. javanica ripen fruits (MERJ) on faecal output in male albino mice
a Values are mean"S.E.M. (ns5). * P-0.05 vs. control, Student’s ‘t’-test.
MERJ tested at the concentration of 100, 200 and 500 mgykg reduced the faecal
output of the mice by 30.50%, 47.51% and 48.96%, respectively, while the reductionin the faecal output by loperamide (5 mgykg) was noted to be 56.85% whencompared to the control group .
The extract (100, 200 and 500 mgykg) protected the mice against castor oil-
induced diarrhoeal droppings by 60–80%. Whereas, the protection was noticed tobe 100% in the case of treatment by loperamide (5 mgykg) .
The extract reduced the intestinal fluid secretion induced by MgSO4, in a dose-
dependant fashion . The reduction in the intestinal fluid secretion at 500mgykg of plant extract treatment was found to be almost comparable with that oftreatment by 5 mgykg dose of loperamide.
Table 2Effect of the methanolic extract of R. javanica ripen fruits (MERJ) on castor oil-induced diarrhoea inmice
V. Tangpu, A.K. Yadav / Fitoterapia 75 (2004) 39–44
Table 3Effect of the methanolic extract of R. javanica ripen fruits (MERJ) on enteropooling assay in mice
a Values are mean"S.E.M. (ns5). * P-0.05 vs. control, Student’s ‘t’-test. 3.5. Gastrointestinal transit test
The results revealed that the methanol extract (100, 200 and 500 mgykg) inhibited
the small intestinal motility of the charcoal marker in mice by 6.09–25.62% whereasthe inhibition was noted be 58.15% in the case of treatment by loperamide . 4. Discussion
In traditional medicine system, many plants or herbs are claimed to have
antidiarrhoeal efficacy without any scientific basis. The aim of the present studywas to evaluate the putative antidiarrhoeal effects of the ripen fruits of R. javanica,which are consumed very commonly by the local people in Manipur, north-eastIndia in their traditional medicine system to treat the diarrhoea. In establishing thepharmacological evaluation of a potential antidiarrhoeal agent, the inhibition ofexperimentally induced diarrhoea, reduction in the faecal output and gastrointestinalmotility tests have remained the most common parameters in several studies The present study revealed that the methanolic extract of ripen fruits of R. javanica inhibited significantly the frequency of defecation and reduced greatly thewetness of the faecal excretion like the standard antidiarrhoeal agent, loperamide. The therapeutic effect of loperamide is believed to be due to its antimotility and
Table 4Effect of the methanolic extract of R. javanica ripen fruits (MERJ) on gastrointestinal transit in mice
a Values of mean"S.E.M. (ns5). * P-0.05 vs. control, Student’s ‘t’-test. V. Tangpu, A.K. Yadav / Fitoterapia 75 (2004) 39–44
antisecretory properties From this, it is likely that the extract may mediate itseffect through similar mechanism. The extract also significantly protected the micefrom diarrhoeal droppings evoked by castor oil administration. Drugs affectingmotility, frequency and consistence of diarrhoea also affect secretion Theintraluminal fluid accumulation induced by castor oil was blocked by the test extractin dose-related manner. Further, the experiments carried out on the gastrointestinaltract motility after charcoal meal administration also showed a reduction in thepropulsive movement of small intestine after pre-treatment with the extract of R. javanica. Intestinal fluid secretion has been analyzed by enteropooling assay inmice, evoked by MgSO4 (a standard laxative agent).
In conclusion, the results of this study seem to provide a support for the use of
R. javanica ripens fruits as antidiarrhoeal agent in the local medicine system ofNaga tribes in Manipur north-east India. Further study, however, is necessary toisolate and identify the active ingredients of fruits and their precise mechanism ofaction. Acknowledgments
The authors thank the Head, Department of Zoology, NEHU, Shillong for
providing laboratory facilities and to Dr P.B. Gurung, Department of Botany, NEHU,Shillong for assisting in the identification of plant. This study was supported by aJunior Research Fellowship to Vareishang Tangpu by the Council of Scientific andIndustrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi. References
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