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Laxative potential of the ethanolic leaf extract of Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. in Wistar rats with loperamide-induced constipation

Authors:
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg

Abstract

Laxative potential of the ethanolic leaf extract of Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. ABSTRACT Background: Constipation is a highly prevalent and often chronic functional gastrointestinal disorder affecting humans irrespective of race and color exposing victims to colorectal cancer. The present study evaluated the effi cacy of the ethanolic leaf extract of Aloe vera against loperamide-induced constipation in rats. Materials and Methods: Rats were constipation induced by the oral administration of loperamide (3 mg/kg body weight) while the control animals received normal saline. Constipated rats were treated with 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg body weight/day of the ethanolic leaf extract for 7 days during which the feeding characteristics, body weight, fecal properties, and gastrointestinal transit ratio were monitored. Results: Treatment of constipated rats with the extract at 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg body weight for 7 days improved intestinal motility, increased fecal volume, and normalized body weight in the constipated rats. These are indications of the laxative property of the herb with the 200 mg/kg body weight of the extract showing the best effi cacy. Conclusion: The effect of the extract compares favorably well with Gaviscon, a standard laxative drug. These fi ndings have therefore lent scientifi c support to the use of the herb as a laxative agent in Nigerian folkloric medicine.
Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals, Volume 2, Issue 3, July-September, 2011
158
Address for
correspondence:
AOT Ashafa,
Department of Plant
Sciences, University of
the Free State, Qwaqwa
Campus, Phuthaditjhaba,
South Africa. E-mail: tom.
ashafa@gmail.com
Department of Plant Sciences,
University of the Free
State, Qwaqwa Campus,
Phuthaditjhaba, South Africa,
1
Department of Biochemistry,
University of Ilorin, Ilorin,
2
Department of Botany, Lagos
State University, Ojo Campus,
Lagos, Nigeria
Laxative potential of the ethanolic leaf extract of Aloe vera (L.)
Burm. f. in Wistar rats with loperamide-induced constipation
A. O. T. Ashafa, T. O. Sunmonu
1
, A. A. Abass
2
, A. A. Ogbe
2
ABSTRACT
Background: Constipation is a highly prevalent and often chronic functional gastrointestinal disorder
affecting humans irrespective of race and color exposing victims to colorectal cancer. The present study
evaluated the ef cacy of the ethanolic leaf extract of Aloe vera against loperamide-induced constipation in
rats. Materials and Methods: Rats were constipation induced by the oral administration of loperamide (3
mg/kg body weight) while the control animals received normal saline. Constipated rats were treated with
50, 100, and 200 mg/kg body weight/day of the ethanolic leaf extract for 7 days during which the feeding
characteristics, body weight, fecal properties, and gastrointestinal transit ratio were monitored. Results:
Treatment of constipated rats with the extract at 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg body weight for 7 days improved
intestinal motility, increased fecal volume, and normalized body weight in the constipated rats. These are
indications of the laxative property of the herb with the 200 mg/kg body weight of the extract showing the
best ef cacy. Conclusion: The effect of the extract compares favorably well with Gaviscon, a standard
laxative drug. These ndings have therefore lent scienti c support to the use of the herb as a laxative agent
in Nigerian folkloric medicine.
Key words: Aloe vera, constipation, ethanolic extract, folk medicine, Gaviscon, intestinal motility
INTRODUCTION
Constipation is a highly prevalent and
often chronic functional gastrointestinal
disorder affecting 3-15% of the general
population.
[1-4]
It is a common clinical problem
comprising a constellation of symptoms that
include excessive straining, hard stools,
feeling of incomplete evacuation, use of
digital maneuvers, or infrequent defecation.
A number of conditions such as metabolic
problems, fiber deficiency, anorectal
problems, and drugs can cause constipation.
Functional constipation consists of two
subtypes, namely, slow-transit constipation
and dyssynergic defecation. Some patients
with irritable bowel syndrome may exhibit
features of both types of constipation.
[5]
Laxatives are agents that add bulk to
intestinal contents by retaining water
within the bowel lumen by virtue of their
osmotic effects, or that stimulate intestinal
secretion or motility thereby increasing
the frequency and ease of defecation.
[6,7]
The use of chemical drugs such as Senna,
Correctol, Exlax, Senokot, and Gaviscon
(containing sennosides as active ingredients)
for the treatment of constipation is common
among affected individuals. However, the
use of these orthodox drugs is limited
due to their high cost, undesirable side
effects (such as stomach pain and cramps),
and slow activity (up to 8 h) in relieving
constipation.
[3,4,8]
Therefore, almost half of
patients with constipation are not satis ed
with the ef cacy of orthodox laxatives in
improving quality of life.
[9,10]
Consequently,
attention has been shifted to the use of
medicinal plants for the treatment of the
menace particularly in Nigeria.
[11,12]
There
is the general belief among users that plant
extracts are cheap, fast acting, and readily
available coupled with the availability of
several choices.
[13]
Therefore, the continuous
search for a more natural, effective,
affordable and readily available laxative of
plant origin necessitated this research.
From time immemorial, aloe plants have
been used medicinally for centuries for
the treatment of diverse disorders and
Original Article
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DOI:
DOI: 10.4103/2229-5119.86268
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ailments such as diabetes and ulcer.
[14]
There are at
least four species of the over 360 known ones that have
medicinal properties – Aloe arborescens Miller; Aloe
perryi Baker; Aloe ferox Miller, and Aloe barbadensis
Miller, also known as Aloe vera.
[14,15]
Among them, A. vera
is the most widely used healing plants in the history of
mankind.
[16]
Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. is perennial, succulent
xerophytes which develops water storage tissues in
the leaves to survive in dry areas of low or erratic
rainfall. The innermost part of the leaf is a clear, soft,
moist, and slippery tissue that consists of large, thin-
walled parenchyma cells in which water is held in the
uniform of viscous mucilage.
[17,18]
A. vera has been part
of the traditional medicine practices of many regions of
the world for centuries and the medicinal ef cacy has
been attributed to the aggregation of over 75 bioactive
phytochemicals.
[19]
These comprise basically
polysaccharides and anthraquinones which are
concentrated in the inner leaf parenchymatous tissues
of the plant.
[20,21]
The medicinal activities of the plant have
been reported to be as a result of synergistic action of the
compounds (such as cellulose and aloe-emodin) contained
therein rather than a single chemical substance.
[22]
The
bioef cacy reports of A. vera include antimicrobial,
[21,23]
antiviral,
[24]
antioxidant,
[25]
anti-psoriasis,
[26]
antidiabetic,
[27-30]
cardiac stimulatory,
[31]
antiulcer,
[32]
immunomodulatory,
[33,34]
anti-inflammatory,
[35,36]
anticancer,
[37]
and hepatoprotective properties.
[38]
Although the traditional use of A. vera as a laxative is
known but little or no scienti c credence is available in
the literature on the purgative potential of this plant.
The present study therefore investigated the laxative/
purgative activity of A. vera in loperamide-induced
constipated experimental animals and the effect was
compared with Gaviscon, a standard laxative drug. The
result from this study is expected to shed more light on
the minimum required dosage of the A. vera crude extract
that will provide an effective laxative activity.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Drugs and chemicals
Loperamide hydrochloride, carmine, and
carboxymethylcellulose were procured from Sigma
Chemical Co. (St. Louis, MO, USA) while Gaviscon was
a product of Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceutical (Pty) Ltd.
(Elandsfontein, South Africa). All other chemicals and
reagents used were of analytical grade.
Plant materials
Fresh, mature leaves of A. vera were collected from the
Ojo area of Lagos State, Nigeria, from homes where the
plant is grown in pots. The plant was authenticated by
Mr. OK Oluwa, a biosystemanist in the Department of
Botany, Lagos State University, and a voucher specimen
(AshMed. 2010/LHB01) was prepared and deposited in
the university herbarium.
Preparation of the ethanolic extract
The leaves of A. vera were thoroughly washed with
distilled water, cut into thin slices, and air-dried at
room temperature to a constant weight. The dried leaves
were grinded into a powder and 40 g of the material was
extracted by shaking it for 24 h in 500 ml of ethanol. The
extract obtained was ltered through Whatman no. 1
(70 mm) lter paper and concentrated on a water bath
at 45°C to give a yield of 5.2 g. This was reconstituted in
distilled water to give the required doses of 50, 100, and
200 mg/kg body weight for the experiment.
Animal used
Male albino rats (Rattus norvegicus) of the Wistar strain
with a mean weight of 150 ± 4.22 g were bred in the
animal house of the Department of Biochemistry, Lagos
State University. The animals were housed individually
in clean metabolic cages placed in a well-ventilated
house under optimum conditions (temperature 23 ± 1°C;
photoperiod: 12 h natural light and 12 h dark; humidity:
45–50%). They were acclimatized for 7 days after being
selected for the experiment, during which they were
allowed free access to commercial pelleted rat chow
(Lagos State Agro-Products, Agric Farm, Ojo, Lagos) and
water ad libitum. The cleaning of the cages was done on
a daily basis. All animal treatments were in accordance
with international ethical guidelines and the National
Institute of Health Guide concerning the care and use of
laboratory animals. The study was carried out following
the approval from the Ethical Committee of the Lagos
State University on the use and care of animals.
Induction of constipation in the rats
Constipation was induced in the animals by the oral
administration of 1 ml loperamide (3 mg/kg body weight
in 0.9% sodium chloride for 3 days),
[39]
while the control
rats were administered with the normal saline only. The
passage of reduced, hard, and dry fecal pellets indicated
constipation in the rats.
Experimental design
A total of 36 Wistar rats were used for the experiment
and they were grouped into 6 with each group comprising
6 animals each. Those in Groups 1 (control) and 2
(constipated control) were administered with distilled
water. Groups 3, 4, and 5 comprised constipated rats given
50, 100, and 200 mg/kg body weight/day of the A. vera
ethanolic extract, respectively, while Group 6 consisted
of constipated rats administered with Gaviscon. The
administration was done using a metal oropharyngeal
cannula. The water intake, feed intake, and body weight
gain of all the rats were recorded during the experimental
period and treatment lasted for 7 days.
Ashafa, et al.: Laxative effect of A. vera in Wistar rats
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160
Figure 1: E ect of the ethanolic extract of A. vera on the GIT ra o in rats
with loperamide-induced cons pa on
Total number, dry weight, and water content of
the fecal pellet
The excreted fecal pellets of individual rats were
collected daily at 09:00 am throughout the duration of
the experiment. The total number, weight, and water
content of the pellets were determined. The water content
was calculated as the difference between the wet and dry
weights of the pellet.
Gastrointestinal transit ratio
The gastrointestinal (GIT) ratio was measured
according to the method of Nagakura et al.
[40]
On the
day 7, 1 ml of carmine (3 g suspended in 50 ml of 0.5%
carboxymethylcellulose) was orally administered to
the rats. One hour after the marker was administered,
the animals were humanely sacri ced and the small
intestines were quickly removed. The distance over which
the carmine had traveled and the total length of the small
intestine were measured. The GIT ratio was expressed as
the percentage of the distance travelled by the carmine
relative to the total length of the small intestine.
Statistical analysis
Data were expressed as means ± SD of six replicates and
were subjected to one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA)
followed by the Duncan multiple range test to determine
signi cant differences in all the parameters. Values were
considered statistically signi cant at P < 0.05.
RESULTS
The administration of loperamide signi cantly reduced
the water intake, the number, water content, and the
weight of the fecal pellets [Table 1]. This indicated that
constipation had been induced in the rats. However, no
signi cant difference was observed in the feed intake
between the control and the constipated animals.
While water consumption decreased in the untreated
constipated rats, the administration of the ethanolic
extract of A. vera significantly increased the water
intake in constipated rats [Table 2]. Again, there was
no signi cant difference in the feed intake of all the
animals. Similarly, the extract signi cantly increased
the number, water content, and weight of fecal pellets
in the constipated rats in a dosage-dependent manner.
The body weights of the constipated animals were also
normalized following the treatment with the extract.
Loperamide signi cantly reduced the gastrointestinal
motility in the untreated constipated rats [Figure 1].
Treatment with the A. vera extract, however, increased
the gastrointestinal movement in a dose-dependent
manner which compared favorably well with Gaviscon,
a standard laxative drug.
DISCUSSION
Plants have long been a very important source of drugs
against several diseases including constipation. In Nigeria,
a reasonable percentage of the population depends on
herbal medicines because the international commercial
medicines are becoming increasingly expensive and out
Ashafa, et al.: Laxative effect of A. vera in Wistar rats
Table 1: E ect of the loperamide administra on on feed intake, water
intake, and fecal proper es of cons pated rats
Parameters Normal control Cons pated rats
Feed intake 16.85 ± 1.21 18.76 ± 0.98
*
Water intake 20.90 ±1.34 9.81 ± 0.85
**
Number of fecal pellets 71.14 ± 3.82 26.44 ± 1.03
**
Water content of fecal pellets 1.67 ± 0.18 0.63 ± 0.12
**
Weight of fecal pellets 7.02 ± 0.53 3.25 ± 0.10
**
Data are mean ± SD values (n = 6).
*
Not signi cantly di erent from normal controls
(P < 0.05).
**
Signi cantly di erent from normal controls (P < 0.05).
Table 2: E ect of the ethanolic leaf extract of A. vera on feed and water intake, body weight gain, and fecal proper es of cons pated rats
Parameters Cons pated + A. vera (mg/kg body weight)
Normal control Cons pated control 50 100 200 Gaviscon
Feed intake 25.29 ± 1.62
a
24.66 ± 1.40
a
23.21 ± 1.19
a
22.94 ± 1.18
a
23.30 ± 1.23
a
23.12 ± 1.25
a
Water intake 53.80 ± 2.59
a
42.80 ± 2.86
b
51.00 ± 2.85
a
53.78 ± 2.82
a
54.08 ± 2.56
a
53.40 ± 2.93
a
Number of fecal pellets 77.80 ± 2.59
a
36.80 ± 4.94
b
50.40 ± 3.25
c
62.20 ± 3.68
d
74.20 ± 3.75
a
78.00 ± 3.54
a
Water content of fecal pellets (ml) 1.87 ± 0.08
a
1.33 ± 0.04
b
1.43 ± 0.07
c
1.55 ± 0.06
c
2.14 ± 0.06
d
2.08 ± 0.07
d
Weight of fecal pellets (g) 8.77 ± 0.61
a
3.93 ± 0.27
b
6.26 ± 0.26
c
8.52 ± 0.36
a
8.84 ± 0.32
a
9.01 ± 0.25
a
Body weight gain (g) 13.20 ± 0.96
a
31.78 ± 1.00
b
12.17 ± 0.91
a
11.12 ± 1.69
a
10.48 ± 1.55
a
13.22 ± 1.11
a
Data are mean ± SD values (n = 6). Row values with superscripts di erent from the control are signi cantly di erent (P < 0.05).
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Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals, Volume 2, Issue 3, July-September, 2011
161
of reach coupled with the undesirable side effects.
[11,12]
The present study has clearly demonstrated that the
aqueous extract of A. vera has a laxative activity, which
is comparable to Gaviscon.
The use of loperamide as a constipation inducer is well
documented. The drug is an opioid agonist antidiarrheal
that inhibits intestinal water secretion and colonic
peristalsis.
[41,42]
This inhibition extends fecal evacuation
time and delays intestinal luminal transit.
[43]
Loperamide-
induced constipation is therefore considered to be a model
of spastic constipation.
[44]
The observed reduction in the number, weight, and water
content of fecal pellets following the treatment with the
drug indicated induction of constipation in the rats.
A similar observation was reported by Shimotoyodome
et al.
[45]
and Wintola et al.
[3]
The reduction in the water
consumed by the constipated animals may also be due
to the effect of the drug which probably accounted for
the reduction in the water content of the fecal pellets.
However, the drug did not prevent the animals from
feeding adequately.
The administration of the ethanolic leaf extract of
A. vera to the constipated rats was effective in in uencing
the increased defecation frequency, fecal volume, and
motility of the colon. These are indications of the laxative
property of the plant extract. This may be due to the
presence of anthranoid glycosides derivatives of which
aloin is the main compound.
[46]
According to Izzo et al.,
[47]
aloin is metabolized by the colonic ora to reactive aloe-
emodin which is responsible for the purgative activity
of this plant. This compound possibly exerts its action
by disturbing the equilibrium between the absorption
of water from the intestinal lumen via an active sodium
transport
[48]
and the secretion of water into the lumen by
a prostaglandin-dependent mechanism.
[49]
Although the feed intake did not differ among the groups,
the gain in body weight was higher in the untreated
constipated rats compared to the extract-treated groups.
This may be due to the accumulation of fecal pellets
in their bodies, thus accounting for the extra weight.
This clearly indicates that the plant extract increased
intestinal secretion and motility in the constipated
rats. A similar observation was reported by Niwa
et al.
[50]
where dietary ber was used for the treatment
of morphine-induced constipation in rats. Wintola et al.
[3]
also recorded a similar observation during the treatment
of constipated rats with A. ferox. Of particular interest
is the fact that the effect of the A. vera extract was dose
dependent in this study. The effect of the highest dosage
actually compared favorably well with Gaviscon.
The transit process of the entire gastrointestinal tract
re ected the overall gastrointestinal motor activity.
Measuring the colonic transit time is useful in constipation,
abdominal bloating, and refractory irritable bowel
syndrome.
[3]
It also provides quantitative information
about the colonic transit, enables the identi cation and
characterization of transit abnormalities, and allows the
assessment of the severity of the problem as well as the
response to therapy.
[51]
In this study, carmine was used
as the marker to measure the colonic movement. The
A. vera ethanolic extract increased the intestinal motility
which, in turn, enhanced colonic peristalsis in the rats.
The possible mechanism of the extract in this process
may be enhancing the release of uid thereby increasing
intestinal secretion. The laxative effect of the extract
could also be attributed to changes in the intestinal
motility, which produced an increase in the intestinal
transit and colonic movement.
[52]
Generally, the effect of
the treatment with the extract compared favorably well
with Gaviscon. The present study compares favorably
well with that of Wintola et al.
[3]
where an A. ferox extract
was used. This is an indication that the herb was effective
in ameliorating bowel obstruction, thereby enhancing
easy movement in the intestine.
CONCLUSION
The present study revealed that oral administration
of the ethanolic extract of A. vera exhibited a laxative
activity in rats with loperamide-induced constipation
rats. This suggests the bene cial effects of the herb
in improving intestinal motility. Noteworthy is the
fact that the extract at the highest dose of 200 mg/kg
body weight showed the best laxative action, which
compared favorably with Gaviscon. These ndings have
lent scienti c support to the use of A. vera as a laxative
agent in Nigerian folkloric medicine.
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Ashafa, et al.: Laxative effect of A. vera in Wistar rats
Cite this article as: Ashafa AO, Sunmonu TO, Abass AA, Ogbe AA. Laxative
potential of the ethanolic leaf extract of Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. in Wistar rats
with loperamide-induced constipation. J Nat Pharm 2011;2:158-62.
Source of Support: Nil. Con ict of Interest: None declared.
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... It may arise due to drugs, deficiency of fiber, anorectal as well as metabolic problems. However, laxatives hold water within the bowel lumen through osmotic effects or excite intestinal secretion or motility that increases the volume of intestinal contents, so that not only incidence but also trouble-free defecation is raised [3]. Owing to lack of efficacy, the treatment of constipation with classic drugs is inadequate for relieving bloating and other symptoms. ...
... In addition, they also cause fluid accumulation in intestinal content by inhibiting ion and water absorption, stimulating fluid secretion or both concurrently. So, the volume of contents is increased and thereby increasing the frequency as well as ease of defecation [3,18]. Effect of PSM evaluated by laxative activity test exposes that PSM possesses laxative activity at both 200 and 400 mg/kg. ...
... Again, in the laxative activity of PSM assessed by loperamide induced constipation test in mice, constipation is persuaded by loperamide HCl through the inhibition of intestinal water secretion and colonic peristalsis. By this inhibition, faecal evacuation time is extended and intestinal luminal transit is delayed [3]. This study, demonstrated that PSM has laxative activity. ...
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How to cite this article: Aziz MA, Yasmen N, Akter MI. Laxative effect of the crude methanolic extract of Polyalthia suberosa (Roxb.) Thwaites in mice. J Res Pharm. 2020; 24(5): 617-622..bd (M.A.A.); Tel. +880-175-956 42 89. ABSTRACT: Polyalthia suberosa (Roxb.) Thwaites is traditionally used as abortifacient, laxative, febrifuge, analgesic, anti-HIV as well as filler's of tooth cavities. The present study was directed to evaluate laxative activity of the methanolic extract of Polyalthia suberosa (Roxb.) Thwaites leaves (PSM). A variety of tests including laxative activity test, laxative activity on loperamide-induced constipation in mice and gastrointestinal motility test in mice were utilised to evaluate the laxative activity of PSM. PSM at 200 and 400 mg/kg doses, expressed laxative activity in Swiss albino mice. Laxative effect of PSM evaluated by laxative activity test exposes that PSM possesses laxative activity at both doses. PSM also showed effectiveness against loperamide induced constipation. In addition, this extract produced significant intestinal transit (*P˂0.05 vs. control) at both doses. The results of this study provide support for the traditional use of Polyalthia suberosa (Roxb.) Thwaites leaves as a laxative.
... Coarse mucosal lesions or injury were recognized as linear breaks or hemorrhage with damage to the mucosa. The total area was showed as the percent of distance travelled by the marker as compared to the overall length of small intestine (42). ...
... GIT transit process reflects the overall GIT motor activity. So the rise in gastrointestinal transit ratio by MEDR reflects the improved or increase in colonic peristalsis and intestinal motility in the animals (42).Measuring the GIT transit time is helpful in irritable bowel syndrome constipation and abdominal bloating. This study also gives information about detection and characterization of abnormalities in colon transit, assessment of the disease severity and the reaction to the treatment (51). ...
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Dryopteris ramosa(D. ramosa) is one of the most traded medicinally important plants of Himalayan region. Apart from other uses, D. ramosa is tradi-tionally also used to treat gastric ulcers and as a laxative. The present study was designed to investigate the role of methanolic crude extract of Dryopteris Ramosa (MEDR) in acute toxicity, against loperamide induced constipated mice model, antiulcer effect of methanolic extract of D. Ramosa and cholinomimetic like effect of methanolic extract of D. Ramosa. The crude extract was investigated for the presence of active compounds (secondary metabolites) such as alkaloids, flavonoids, carbohydrates, glycosides, terpenoids, phenolic compounds, saponins, and tannins following the standard methods. The antiulcer effect was investigated in mice using the ethanol induced ulcer model at various doses i.e. 50 mg/kg, 100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg doses. Constipation was induced in the mice via loperamide (3mg/ kg body weight). The control group received normal saline. Different doses of plant extracts (50, 100, 150 and 200 mg/kg body weight/day) were administered for 7 days. Various parameters like feeding characteristics, gastrointestinal transit ratio, body weight, fecal properties and the possible mechanism of action of D. Ramosaon intestinal motility were monitored. Various Phytochemicals like saponins, glycosides, flavonoids, tannins, phenols, carbohydrate, alkaloids and triter-penes were found in D. Ramosa. The acute toxicity study showed that MEDR was associated with no mortality except mild and moderate sedation at the highest tested doses (1500 and 2000 mg/kg). MEDR also showed significant antiulcer activity against ethanol-induced ulcerogenesis. The extract enhanced the intestinal motility, normalized the body weight of constipated mice and increased the fecal volume which are indications of laxative property of the herb. The 200 mg/kg body weight dose of the extract was found effective. The presence of various Phytochemicals such as flavonoids, glycosides and tannins might be responsible for the antiulcer activity of D. Ramosa. This study provides the scientific background for the folkloric use of D. Ramosaas antiulcer agent. The laxative action of the extract compares positively with Duphalac, (standard laxative drug). These findings have therefore evidence scientific background to the folkloric use of the herb as a laxative agent.
... axatives are the agents that increase the ease and frequency of defecation by adding bulk to intestinal contents by retaining the water in bowel or by increasing motility or by stimulating intestinal secretion (Ashafa, 2011). Several types of laxative agent are used, including osmotic agents, bulking agents, stimulants and lubricating agents. ...
... Laxatives are the agents used to treat constipation in which intestinal secretion lowers, stool is dry and motility of intestine decreased (Ashafa, 2011). According to Rome II criteria, constipation is defined as the symptoms must possess for one week per month during 12 month period. ...
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Abstract Constipation is a condition in which the feces are dry and hard with infrequent difficult evacuation. In 5-25 % children and 2% of total population experiences great difficulty with elimination of food waste, accompanied with pain, fear, and avoidance, treated by laxatives, the agents that add bulk to intestinal contents or stimulation of intestinal secretion or motility. The foods like prunes, pears, bran cereals, chemicals like salts of magnesium, cellulose, plants like senna, encourage intestinal contractions and easier time moving of bowels. This systematic review contains a huge collection of references for chemicals, natural products, plants having laxative action and also provides the information about medical conditions and diseases responsible for constipation. Keywords: Constipation, laxative, stimulants, transit time, defecation.
... In an earlier study, the laxative effect of A. vera leaf extract was tested against loperamide-induced constipation in rats. e tested dose of extract was reported to improve the intestinal motility, increased faecal volume, and normalized body weight in the constipated rats [10]. In another study, the ability of A. vera extract to increase the intestinal motility in the experimental rats has been linked to the presence of anthraquinone [11]. ...
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Background. Constipation is a common functional gastrointestinal disorder. Medicines derived from nature are routinely used to treat it. The present study evaluates the gut stimulatory activity of Aloe musabbar (processed powder of Aloe vera) using in vitro and in vivo models for gut stimulatory activity. Materials and Methods. In vitro tests were conducted on isolated rat colon, guinea pig ileum, and rabbit jejunum, while in vivo study was performed using mice intestinal transit time. Aloe musabbar (A. musabbar) was tested at doses 0.2–200 mg/mL (in-vitro study) and 86.6 mg/kg (in vivo study). In vitro studies were done in the presence and absence of atropine sulphate (1 ng/ml). The results were statistically analyzed, and p < 0.05 was considered to indicate the significance. Results. A. musabbar exhibited dose-dependent increase in the smooth muscle contraction of isolated gut tissues. Presence of atropine minimized the contractile responses and shifted the dose-response curves towards the right-hand side. The intestinal transit time in mice was observed to be increased significantly ( p < 0.01 ) in A. musabbar-treated animals, when compared with normal animals. Conclusion. A mild smooth muscle contraction induced by A. musabbar suggests that it can stimulate intestinal bowel movement without causing spasms. The diminished responses in the presence of atropine indicated that the gut stimulatory activity could be mediated partially through parasympathetic innervations. More studies are needed to determine the precise mechanism of action including the specific active ingredient responsible for the gut stimulatory activity.
... The developments of interest in the therapeutic potentials of medicinal plants against alcohol induced toxicity have become an increasing attractive area of research [8,13]. Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) is one of the four species among over 360 species known to have medicinal properties [5]. It is a tropical succulent plant that belongs to the liliaceous family [18,24]. ...
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Excessive alcohol intake is associated with pathological conditions that are detrimental. Aloe vera is a plant that possesses antimicrobial and anti-oxidant properties. This study investigated the effects of Aloe vera gel on alcohol induced hepato-nephrocellular dysfunction in rats using the specific activities of glutathione-S-transferase (GST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) as well as concentration of some electrolytes as indices. Six groups of male albino rats containing 5 rats each were used in the experiments. Groups A and B were administered distilled water and 50 % (v/v) alcohol for 21 days respectively. Groups C and D were administered 50 % (v/v) alcohol, while groups E and F were administered distilled water for the first 14 days, followed by co-administration (without stopping alcohol or distilled water administrations) of 125 mg and 250 mg.kg–1 body weight Aloe vera gel respectively for 7 days. The administration of Aloe vera gel extract significantly modulated serum electrolytes imbalances with concomitant lowering of ALT, AST, ALP, GGT, LDH and GST rates when compared to group B. These results suggested the restoration of alcohol induced dys-function by Aloe vera gel.
... The animals on observation post administration of 200, 400, and 800 mg/kg for 1 w revealed no mortality or toxicity signs. However, we observed increased defecation frequency in 400 and 800 mg/kg that normalized after 3 d [16,21] . The dose of Phenytoin and Diazepam are selected based on previous literature where the former is used as a standard antiepileptic drug [22] and the biphasic profile of the latter, i.e., antianxiety at 1 mg/kg and sedative at 2 mg/kg [15,23] . ...
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The objective of this study is to determine the neuropharmacological activities of the methanol extract of Aloe vera leaf and identify the potential bioactive compounds present in the same responsible for the activities through Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis. The study is done on Wistar albino rats and composed of 5 groups, methanol extract of Aloe vera leaf at 200, 400, 800 mg/kg, normal saline (control) and standard drugs Phenytoin and Diazepam. Antiepileptic activities are done using maximal electroshock and pentylenetetrazole induced convulsion models and anxiolytic sedative activities using the staircase test, actophotometer test and sleep prolongation test. The chemometric analysis is performed using Clarus 500 Perkin Gas Chromatograph coupled with a mass detector, Turbo mass gold–Perkin Elmer Turbomass 5.1 spectrometer with an Elite-1 (100 % dimethyl polysiloxane), 30 m×0.25 mm ID×0.25 μm of the capillary column. The results demonstrated anxiolytic potential at 200 and 400 mg/kg and sedative activity at 800 mg/kg comparable to Diazepam. The methanolic extract of Aloe vera leaf at 800 mg/kg displayed antiepileptic activity compared to Phenytoin. The Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis confirmed the presence of phytol (23.76), alpha-tocopherol (4.67), maltol (3.69), humulene (6.58), caryophyllene (2.73), n-hexadecanoic acid (2.16), hexadecanoic acid methyl ester (3.70), squalene (3.51), 9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid methyl ester (2.12), which are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. These plant derived bioactive compounds are demonstrated to have antianxiety, antiepileptic, sedative hypnotic and neuroprotective potential in neurodegenerative models and might serve as future prospective drug candidates in neurodegenerative disorders).
... Thus, loperamide-induced constipation is considered to be a model of spastic constipation (Takasaki et al., 1994). We employed a loperamide-induced rat model of constipation, characterized by decreased fecal pellets, fecal water content (Ohashi et al., 2001;Wintola et al., 2010;Ashafa et al., 2011), gastrointestinal transit ratio (Wintola et al., 2010), and fecal SCFA levels (Li et al., 2015), accompanied by an imbalance in intestinal microflora (Chen et al., 2010), and ICC (Li et al., 2015). The rats were then fed NTU 101 lyophilized powder to evaluate its efficacy in managing constipation. ...
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Constipation is a condition of the digestive system characterized by formation of hard feces that are difficult to eliminate. It has emerged as a new problem that is commonly encountered by many people and lifestyle changes have been unsuccessful in providing a solution. This study aimed to investigate the effects of Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei NTU 101 on loperamide-induced constipated rats and on gastrointestinal tract function. Sprague-Dawley rats were administered loperamide (2 mg/kg BW) twice daily as well as 1.3, 2.6, and 13.0 mg/kg BW/rat/d of NTU 101 powder. The control, positive control, and NTU 101 powder groups (0.5, 1, 5×) showed improved intestinal mobility with a statistically significant increase of 12.4%, 14.7%, 12.5%, 13.4%, and 15.1%, respectively (p < 0.05); the fecal water content was also significantly increased by 11.7%, 9.0%, 10.0%, 9.3%, and 11.0%, respectively (p < 0.05), compared to the loperamide group. Furthermore, NTU 101 increased the Bifidobactrium spp. and decreased the Clostridium perfringens content in feces; it increased short-chain fatty acid levels, reduced fecal pH value, enhanced the thickness of the colonic mucosa, and increased the number of mucin-producing goblet cells and interstitial cells of Cajal. Thus, NTU 101 powder was found to alleviate loperamide-induced constipation and improve gastrointestinal tract function.
... Constipation is a highly prevalent public health problem comprised of a constellation of symptoms that include excessive straining, hard stool, feeling of incomplete evacuation, and infrequent defecation 16,17 . The occurrence of constipation increases with age and can become a chronic condition requiring the use of laxatives over the long-term. ...
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This literature review paper highlights the application of herbal medicine in the treatment of constipation health disorder. Constipation is a common gastrointestinal tract disorder which can result in the infrequent stools, difficult stool passage with pain and stiffness. Constipation refers to a situation where bowel movements are hard or become infrequent or difficult stool passage leading to Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This is essentially a digestive problem and affect people of all the ages. The common cause of constipation might be related to lack of proper diet, lack of adequate fluid, long term use of medications, lack of adequate physical activity, age related, and might due to serious illness. Conventional treatment includes the use of laxatives to remove stools. The regular use of such chemical-based drugs can imbalance body metabolism and affect the digestive system. Natural plant products rich in fiber, melatonin and anthraquinones are important for the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. Ayurveda recommends a holistic approach to treat constipation. The Ayurvedic treatment for constipation requires the use of herbal formulations. Medicinal plants possess a significant laxative potential and support their folklore. In addition to natural laxatives, an Ayurvedic diet, exercise, and massage are key elements of maintaining a healthy digestive system. This literature review paper listed some of the medicinal plants with laxative properties in a single platform as a herbal remedy for the constipation problem.
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Constipation is one of the most common and prevalent chronic gastrointestinal conditions across the globe that is treated or managed through various methods. Laxatives are used for the treatment or management of chronic/acute constipation. But due to the adverse effects associated with these laxatives, herbal foods should be considered as alternative therapies for constipation. In this review, the laxative potential of plant-based medicines used for constipation were discussed. Constipation may be caused by various factors such as lifestyle, particular food habits, pregnancy and even due to some medication. Chronic constipation is responsible for different health issues. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological paradigms are applied for the treatment or management of constipation. In the pharmacological way of treatment, medicinal plants have a key role, because of their fibrous nature. Numerous plants such as Prunus persica (Rosaceae), Cyamopsis tetragonolobus (Leguminosae), Citrus sinensis (Rutaceae), Planta goovata (Plantaginaceae), Rheum emodi (Polygonaceae), Cassia auriculata (Caesalpinacea), Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae), Croton tiglium (Euphorbiaceae), Aloe barbadensis (Liliaceae), Mareya micrantha (Euphorbiaceae), Euphorbia thymifolia (Euphorbiaceae), Cascara sagrada (Rhamnaceae), Cassia angustifolia (Fabaceae) have laxative activity. Medicinal plants possess a significant laxative potential and support their folklore therefore, further, well-designed clinical-based studies are required to prove and improve the efficacy of herbal medicine for constipation. The present review showed that herbs laxative effect in various in-vivo/ in-vitro models.
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Extracts from four leaves: Ceratotheca sesamoides (Endl.), Lactuca taraxacifolia (Willd.), Euphorbia lateriflora (Schum. & Throes) and Amaranthus viridis (Linn.) used in Nigeria as edible vegetables were tested for antiviral activities using the measles virus on Human Epidermoid carcinoma (HEP-2) cell line. The efficacy of each extract in preventing viral penetration into a living cell as well as its effect on the virus itself and the toxicity of same on the cell were all determined. All the extracts showed dose-dependent antiviral activities. The inhibitory action of the extracts from C. sesamoides and L. taraxacifolia were greatest at high concentrations of 15 mg/ml when the virus had already penetrated the cell. E. lateriflora only inhibited the virus activity at very high concentrations of 15 mg/ml when the virus was treated with the extract and also when the HEP-2 cell was treated with the extract before the virus suspension was added. Amaranthus viridis concentrations of 10 and 15 mg/ml were contaminated but the extract at a low concentration of 5 mg/ml was able to exhibit antiviral activity when the cell was treated with the extract before the virus was added. In view of the efficacy of these extracts in inhibiting the cytopathic effect (CPE) of measles virus without harming the host, the utilization of the extracts in the formulation of new antiviral drugs is strongly recommended especially when the availability and the very low cost of these vegetables are considered.
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Diabetes mellitus is one of the commonest diseases affecting the citizens of both developed and poor countries. In South Africa, the number of people suffering from diabetes is believed to be rising steadily. An ethnobotanical study of plants used by the traditional healers, herbalists and rural dwellers for the treatment of diabetes mellitus was conducted in the Eastern Cape Province. The study revealed 14 plant species belonging to six families namely; Asteraceae, Hypoxidaceae, Apocynaceae, Asphodelaceae, Apiaceae and Buddlejaceae. The use of infusions from plant leaves and roots was the commonest method of herbal preparation. In all cases, the treatment involved drinking the extracts for a long period of time. There was a general belief on the efficacy of the prepared extracts.
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The genus Aloe (Asphodelaceae), with nearly 420 species confined mainly to Africa, has over the years proved to be one of the most important sources of biologically active compounds. Over 130 compounds belonging to different classes including anthrones, chromones, pyrones, coumarins, alkaloids, glycoproteins, naphthalenes and flavonoids have so far been reported from the genus. Although many of the reports on Aloe are dominated by A. vera and A. ferox, there have also been a number of fruitful phytochemical studies on many other members of the genus. In this review an attempt is made to present all compounds isolated to date from Aloe. The biogenesis and chemotaxonomic significance of these compounds are also discussed.
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Constipation is the most common gastrointestinal complaint all over the world and it is a risk factor of colorectal cancer. In this study, the efficacy of aqueous leaf extract of Aloe ferox Mill. was studied against loperamide-induced constipation in Wistar rats. Constipation was induced by oral administration of loperamide (3 mg/kg body weight) while the control rats received normal saline. The constipated rats were treated with 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight/day of the extract for 7 days during which the feeding characteristics, body weight, fecal properties and gastrointestinal transit ratio were monitored. The extract improved intestinal motility, increased fecal volume and normalized body weight in the constipated rats, which are indications of laxative property of the herb with the 200 mg/kg body weight of the extract showing the best efficacy. The effect of the extract compares favourably well with senokot, a standard laxative drug. These findings have therefore, lent scientific credence to the folkloric use of the herb as a laxative agent by the people of the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
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Mareya micrantha (Benth.) Müll. Arg. (Euphorbiaceae) is a shrub that is commonly used in Côte d'Ivoire (West Africa) for the treatment of constipation and as an ocytocic drug. The present study was carried out to investigate the laxative activity of Mareya micrantha in albino's Wistar rats. Rats were divided in 5 groups of 5 animals each, first group as control, second group served as standard (sodium picosulfate) while group 3, 4 and 5 were treated with leaf aqueous extract of Mareya micrantha at doses of 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg body weight (b.w.), per os respectively. The laxative activity was determined based on the weight of the faeces matter. The effects of the leaves aqueous extract of Mareya micrantha and castor oil were also evaluated on intestinal transit, intestinal fluid accumulation and ions secretion. Phytochemicals screening of the extract revealed the presence of flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, polyphenols, sterols and polyterpenes. The aqueous extract of Mareya micrantha applied orally (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg; p.o.), produced significant laxative activity and reduced loperamide induced constipation in dose dependant manner. The effect of the extract at 200 and 400 mg/kg (p.o.) was similar to that of reference drug sodium picosulfate (5 mg/kg, p.o). The same doses of the extract (200 and 400 mg/kg, p.o.) produced a significant increase (p < 0.01) of intestinal transit in comparison with castor oil (2 mL) (p < 0.01). Moreover, the extract induced a significant enteropooling and excretion of Cl-, Na+, K+ and Ca2+ in the intestinal fluid (p < 0.01). The results showed that the aqueous extract of Mareya micrantha has a significant laxative activity and supports its traditional use in herbal medicine.
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The mechanism of cathartic effect of barbaloin, representative of Aloe, was investigated by using male rats. Barbaloin administered orally was demonstrated to decompose to aloe-emodin-9-anthrone and aloe-emodin in the rat large intestine. And, these decomposed compounds were likely to change each other in the large intestine. Any compound of barbaloin, aloe-emodin-9-anthrone and aloe-emodin administered orally to rats was found to cause an obvious increase of water content in the large intestine, and only aloe-emodin-9-anthrone administered orally caused a significant increase of water content in the small intestine. Furthermore, the clear increase of water content and abnormality of electrolytes (Na⁺, K⁺) in the colon segment of rat were observed only by aloe-emodin-9-anthrone when compounds tested were injected directly into the colon segment. Therefore, it seemed that aloe-emodin-9-anthrone, a decomposition product of babaloin in the rat large intestine, caused an increase of water content in the large intestine by a different mechanism from the stimulation of peristalsis and this played an important role in cathartic activity of barbaloin.
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A material having antibradykinin activity on isolated guinea pig ileum was partially purified from the nondialysate of the pulp of Aloe saponaria by repetition of gel chromatography using a hydrophilic polyvinyl gel and dextran gels. From the results of amino acid and carbohydrate analyses, the antibradykinin-active material was estimated to be a glycoprotein. It was found that this material catalyzes the hydrolysis of bradykinin at pH 7.4. The results of peptide analysis using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with amino acid analysis indicate that this glycoprotein cleaves the Gly4-Phe5 and Pro7-Phe8 bonds of the bradykinin molecule.
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Constipation is a common symptom that may be idiopathic or due to various identifiable disease processes. Laxatives are agents that add bulk to intestinal contents, that retain water within the bowel lumen by virtue of osmotic effects, or that stimulate intestinal secretion or motility, thereby increasing the frequency and ease of defecation. Drugs which improve constipation by stimulating gastrointestinal motility by direct actions on the enteric nervous system are under development. Other modalities used to treat constipation include biofeedback and surgery. Laxatives and lavage solutions are also used for colon preparation and evacuation of the bowels after toxic ingestions.
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The main scientific discoveries on Aloe vera published mainly in the last three decades are presented in this work. After describing Aloe from a botanical point of view, the papers related with the chemical composition of different parts of the leaf of Aloe, particularly those in which the gel is described and are presented in a synthetic manner. The chemical analyses reveal that Aloe gel contains mannose polymers with some glucose and other sugars, among which the most important is Acemannan. Besides these, other components such as glycoproteins, enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals are described. Different factors also affecting the chemical composition of the gel, such as species and variety, climatic and soil conditions, cultivation methods, processing and preservation, are enumerated and discussed. On the other hand, the main therapeutic applications have been revised and the possible damaging effects of Aloe are also commented upon. A special emphasis is placed on the biologically active compounds or groups of compounds responsible for the therapeutic applications and which are their action mechanisms. The paper concludes that more research is needed to confirm the therapeutic and beneficial effects and to definitively clarify the myth surrounding Aloe vera. A general view on the problem of the commercialization and establishment of the quality and safety of Aloe products in the food industry has been offered here. The main points and European regulations that need to be considered regarding the quality control of prepared Aloe products are presented in this paper.