The plant kingdom as a source of anti-ulcer remedies.

Department of Experimental Pharmacology, University of Naples 'Federico II', via D. Montesano 49, 80131 Naples, Italy.
Phytotherapy Research (Impact Factor: 2.4). 01/2001; 14(8):581-91. DOI: 10.1002/1099-1573(200012)14:83.0.CO;2-S
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Phytogenic agents have traditionally been used by herbalists and indigenous healers for the prevention and treatment of peptic ulcer. This article reviews the anti-acid/anti-peptic, gastro-protective and/or anti-ulcer properties of the most commonly employed herbal medicines and their identified active constituents. Botanical compounds with anti-ulcer activity include flavonoids (i.e. quercetin, naringin, silymarin, anthocyanosides, sophoradin derivatives) saponins (i.e. from Panax japonicus and Kochia scoparia), tannins (i.e. from Linderae umbellatae), gums and mucilages (i.e. gum guar and myrrh). Among herbal drugs, liquorice, aloe gel and capsicum (chilli) have been used extensively and their clinical efficacy documented. Also, ethnomedical systems employ several plant extracts for the treatment of peptic ulcer. Despite progress in conventional chemistry and pharmacology in producing effective drugs, the plant kingdom might provide a useful source of new anti-ulcer compounds for development as pharmaceutical entities or, alternatively, as simple dietary adjuncts to existing therapies.

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    ABSTRACT: The popular fruit tree of Annona muricata L. (Annonaceae), known as soursop and graviola, is a widely distributed plant in Central and South America and tropical countries. Leaves of A. muricata have been reported to possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. In this study, the gastroprotective effects of ethyl acetate extract of A. muricata leaves (EEAM) were investigated against ethanol-induced gastric injury models in rats. The acute toxicity test of EEAM in rats, carried out in two doses of 1 g/kg and 2 g/kg, showed the safety of this plant, even at the highest dose of 2 g/kg. The antiulcer study in rats (five groups, n=6) was performed with two doses of EEAM (200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg) and with omeprazole (20 mg/kg), as a standard antiulcer drug. Gross and histological features showed the antiulcerogenic characterizations of EEAM. There was significant suppression on the ulcer lesion index of rats pretreated with EEAM, which was comparable to the omeprazole effect in the omeprazole control group. Oral administration of EEAM to rats caused a significant increase in the level of nitric oxide and antioxidant activities, including catalase, glutathione, and superoxide dismutase associated with attenuation in gastric acidity, and compensatory effect on the loss of gastric wall mucus. In addition, pretreatment of rats with EEAM caused significant reduction in the level of malondialdehyde, as a marker for oxidative stress, associated with an increase in prostaglandin E2 activity. Immunohistochemical staining also demonstrated that EEAM induced the downregulation of Bax and upregulation of Hsp70 proteins after pretreatment. Collectively, the present results suggest that EEAM has a promising antiulcer potential, which could be attributed to its suppressive effect against oxidative damage and preservative effect toward gastric wall mucus.
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    ABSTRACT: The roots of Vernonia kotschyana Sch. Bip. ex Walp. (Asteraceae) are used in Malian traditional medicine in the treatment of gastroduodenal ulcers and gastritis. Since oxidative stress is involved in gastric ulceration, the aim of this study was to screen the root extracts for their in vitro antioxidant activity and phenolic content. The roots were extracted successively with chloroform, ethyl acetate, ethanol and water. The antioxidant activity of root extracts was evaluated in both cell-free and cell-based assays. Their chemical characterization was performed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) whereas the total phenolic content was determined by the Folin-Ciocalteu method. The ethyl acetate extract displayed the highest phenolic content and was found to be the most active in the free radical scavenging and lipid peroxidation inhibition assays; it also showed a high antioxidant activity in MCF-12F cells. This study suggests a potential use of the ethyl acetate extract of Vernonia kotschyana not only as an antioxidant agent in gastroduodenal ulcers and gastritis, but also in other disorders characterized by high levels of oxidative stress.
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