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In Jordan, the leaves of Laurus nobilis (Family Lauraceae) have been used in folk medicine for the treatment of diarrhea, among other ailments. However, the ethnopharmacology of this plant needs to be scientifically validated. The present work was carried out to evaluate the scientific basis of the antidiarrheal effect of the aqueous extract of L. nobilis leaf. L. nobilis leaf extract significantly inhibited castor oil-induced diarrhea (effective concentration producing 50% of the maximum response [EC(50)]=150±6.4 mg/kg) and reduced castor oil-induced enteropooling in rats (EC(50)=162±5.9 mg/kg). The extract also significantly inhibited intestinal transit of a charcoal meal and exerted a significant dose-dependent relaxation (EC(50)=71±5.3 mg/mL) on rat ileal smooth muscle. The aqueous extract tested positive for flavonoids, alkaloids, and tannins. These results established the efficacy of L. nobilis leaf aqueous extract as an antidiarrheal agent and are consistent with the popular use of the plant in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, particularly diarrhea.
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Antidiarrheal Activity of Laurus nobilis L. Leaf Extract in Rats
Esam Y. Qnais,
Fuad A. Abdulla,
Eziden G. Kaddumi,
and Shtaywy S. Abdalla
Department of Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science;
Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences,
Faculty of Allied Health; Hashemite University, Zarka, Jordan.
Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Professions, Behavioral
and Life Sciences, New York Institute of Technology, Amman, Jordan.
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan.
ABSTRACT In Jordan, the leaves of Laurus nobilis (Family Lauraceae) have been used in folk medicine for the treatment
of diarrhea, among other ailments. However, the ethnopharmacology of this plant needs to be scientifically validated. The
present work was carried out to evaluate the scientific basis of the antidiarrheal effect of the aqueous extract of L. nobilis leaf.
L. nobilis leaf extract significantly inhibited castor oil–induced diarrhea (effective concentration producing 50% of the
maximum response [EC
]=150 6.4 mg/kg) and reduced castor oil–induced enteropooling in rats (EC
=162 5.9 mg/kg).
The extract also significantly inhibited intestinal transit of a charcoal meal and exerted a significant dose-dependent relaxation
=71 5.3 mg/mL) on rat ileal smooth muscle. The aqueous extract tested positive for flavonoids, alkaloids, and tannins.
These results established the efficacy of L. nobilis leaf aqueous extract as an antidiarrheal agent and are consistent with the
popular use of the plant in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, particularly diarrhea.
KEY WORDS: antidiarrheal effect castor oil–induced diarrhea charcoal meal enteropooling intestinal motility
Laurus nobilis
Diarrhea is characterized by excessive defecation,
wet stool output, and abdominal pain. It is a leading
cause of malnutrition and death among children in the de-
veloping countries of the world today.
Diarrhea accounts
for more than 2–8 million deaths each year in infants and
children less than 5 years old.
Several pharmaceutical agents are available for the
treatment and management of both adult and infantile di-
arrhea. In recent years, emphasis has focused on the use of
oral rehydration solutions as a replacement therapy to re-
plenish the lost fluid and electrolytes in diarrheic cases.
However, there is still a need for continuing search for more
effective antidiarrheal agents with minimal side effects.
Laurus nobilis belongs to the Lauraceae family and is
commonly known as sweet bay but locally known as Al-
Ghar. It is an evergreen tree that can reach up to 8 m in
height and is native to Mediterranean regions. L. nobilis,a
dioecious plant, has been cultivated since ancient times, and
the aromatic, dark green, leathery leaves of the laurel tree
were used by ancient Greeks and Romans to crown their
L. nobilis is a plant of industrial importance be-
cause it is used in foods, drugs, and cosmetics. The dried
leaves and essential oils are used extensively in the food
industry for seasoning of meat products, soups, and fishes.
The essential oil is also used as a folk medicine, especially
for the treatment of rheumatism and dermatitis.
L. nobilis has a long history of folk use in the treatment of
many ailments, particularly as an aid to digestion, to treat
bronchitis and influenza,
and to treat various types of
The leaves were reported to treat upper respiratory
tract disorders and to ease arthritic aches and pains.
studies have shown that L. nobilis seed and leaf essential oils
have gastroprotective, antinociceptive, and anti-inflamma-
tory activities.
They also have antidiabetic, cytotoxic, and
trypanocidal properties.
The essential oil and some
isolated compounds from L. nobilis have narcotic, antibac-
terial, and fungicidal properties.
Because of its anti-
microbial and fungicidal activities, L. nobilis is used in the
food industry as a food preservative.
Some phytochemical constituents of L. nobilis have been
isolated and identified. These include guaianolides, dehy-
drocostus lactone, zaluzanin D, p-menthane hydroperoxide,
(1R,4S)-1-hydroperoxy-p-menth-2-en-8-ol acetate,
peroxy radical scavenging compounds, sabinene, eugenol,
megastigmane glucosides, phenolic glucoside, sesquiter-
(E)-b-ocimene, 1,8-cineole, a-pinene, b-long-
ipinene, linalool acetate, cadinene, b-pinene, a-terpinyl
Manuscript received 3 April 2011. Revision accepted 27 July 2011.
Address correspondence to: Esam Y. Qnais, Department of Biology and Biotechnology,
Faculty of Science, Hashemite University, P.O. Box 150459, Zarka, Jordan, 13115,
J Med Food 15 (1) 2012, 51–57
#Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. and Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition
DOI: 10.1089/jmf.2011.1707
acetate, a-bulnesene,
kaempferol 3-O-a-l-(2,4-di-E-p-
coumaroyl)-rhamnoside (C2), and kaempferol 3-O-a-L-(2-
In Jordan, L. nobilis is commonly used as a food spice,
and the leaf aqueous extract is widely used in the treat-
ment of hypertension, general weakness, arthritis, hair loss,
and diarrhea.
Despite the relatively wide use of this plant
in folk medicine, the scientific basis for its use as an an-
tidiarrheal drug has not been validated. The present study
was undertaken to evaluate the antidiarrheal effect of leaf
aqueous extract of L. nobilis, using castor oil–induced
diarrhea, enteropooling, intestinal transit time, and iso-
metric recording of ileal smooth muscle tone models.
Plant material
Fresh leaves of L. nobilis were collected from the Hash-
emite University campus (Al-Hashemia, Zarka, Jordan)
during April 2008. The plant material was identified and
authenticated taxonomically at the herbarium of Hashemite
University. A voucher specimen has been deposited there
for future reference under the number HU-394.
Preparation of aqueous extract
Aqueous extract was obtained by boiling 150 g of the
ground air-dried leaves of L. nobilis in 3 L of distilled water
for 15 minutes with continuous stirring. The resultant so-
lution was filtered through Whatman (Maidstone, United
Kingdom) filter paper. The filtrate was completely evapo-
rated under reduced pressure at 55C. Solutions were pre-
pared by dissolving the gummy residue in physiological salt
solution (PSS).
Phytochemical analysis
The aqueous extract (50 g/L) of the plant was subjected to
qualitative chemical screening for the detection of tannins,
alkaloids, and flavonoids using standard procedures.
addition to the specific tests noted below, the presence of
these constituents was also confirmed by thin-layer chro-
matography using different solvent systems, detecting re-
agents, and ultraviolet.
Test for tannins. One milliliter of aqueous extract was
mixed with 10 mL of distilled water and filtered. Ferric
chloride reagent (3 drops) was added to the filtrate. A blue–
black or green precipitate confirmed the presence of gallic
tannins or catechol tannins, respectively.
Test for alkaloids. A mixture of 0.2 mL of aqueous
extract and 1% aqueous hydrochloric acid (5 mL) was
placed on a steam bath and then filtered. One milliliter of the
filtrate was treated with Mayer’s reagent (3 drops), whereas
another portion was similarly treated with Dragedorff’s re-
agent. Turbidity or precipitation with these reagents was
considered as evidence for the presence of alkaloids.
Test for flavonoids. Two milliliters of the aqueous ex-
tract was heated, and a piece of metallic magnesium fol-
lowed by concentrated hydrochloric acid (5 drops) was
added. A red or orange coloration indicated the presence of
Adult albino rats of either sex weighing 160–210 g were
fed a standard pellet diet and water ad libitum. Food, but not
water, was withdrawn 18 hours before the experiments.
Antidiarrheal test
Wistar rats were divided into five groups, each com-
posed of six rats. Rats in the first three groups received
aqueous extract of L. nobilis leaf at 3 mL/kg (100, 200,
and 400 mg/kg, respectively); the doses were given intra-
peritoneally, and the largest safe dose was used as deter-
mined by preliminary 50% lethal dose experiments. The
fourth group received the antidiarrheatic agent diphenox-
ylate at 3 mL/kg of 5 mg/kg solution as a positive control,
and the fifth group received 3 mL/kg PSS and served as a
negative control. Rats were then housed singly in cages
lined with white blotting paper. One hour after the treat-
ments, each rat was given 1 mL of castor oil orally. Rats
were observed for the presence of diarrhea on an hourly
basis for the next 5 hours after the castor oil administra-
tion. For the purpose of this study, diarrhea was considered
as defecation of watery, unformed stool. The number of
wet droppings was counted every hour for a period of 5
hours. The total of the wet droppings after 5 hours was
counted and averaged.
Anti-enteropooling test
Intraluminal fluid accumulation was determined by the
method of Robert et al.
Fasting rats were divided into four
groups of six animals each. Group 1 received 3 mL of PSS/
kg intraperitoneally and served as the control. Groups 2, 3,
and 4 were injected intraperitoneally with the plant extract at
100, 200, or 400 mg/kg, respectively, in a total volume of
3 mL/kg. The above treatments were given 1 hour before the
administration of 1 mL of castor oil orally. Two hours later
the rats were sacrificed, and the small intestine was ligated at
both pyloric sphincter and ileocecal junction, dissected out,
and weighed. The intestine was reweighed after milking off
the contents, and the difference between the weights of
loaded and empty intestines was calculated as the weight of
the contents.
Gastrointestinal motility
The effect of aqueous extract of L. nobilis on gastroin-
testinal transit was tested using the charcoal meal method.
One-half milliliter of charcoal meal (5 g of activated char-
coal suspended in 50 mL of PSS) was given to five groups of
six rats each. In the first three groups, the charcoal meal was
administered to animals intragastrically 60 minutes after the
intraperitoneal injection of aqueous extract of L. nobilis leaf
at 3 mL/kg of 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg, respectively. In the
fourth group, which served as a positive control, rats were
treated with atropine sulfate at 3 mL/kg of 1 mg/kg. The fifth
group (control) was treated with 3 mL/kg PSS before re-
ceiving the charcoal meal.
Animals were killed 60 minutes after charcoal adminis-
tration, and the small intestine, from the pylorus to the ce-
cum, was rapidly removed and laid out on white filter paper
for inspection. The distance traveled by the front of the
charcoal meal was measured and calculated as a percentage
of the total length of the intestine.
Ileal preparation
Rats were lightly anesthetized with ether and were sac-
rificed by a sharp blow to the head, and the abdomen
was opened. Segments of the ileum (1–2 cm long) were
removed and dissected free of adhering mesentery. The
lumen was flushed with PSS to remove any remaining
contents. PSS was prepared daily and had the following
composition: 118 mMNaCl, 4.7 mMKCl, 2.5 mM
O, 1.0 mMMgCl
O, 0.5 mMNaH
25 mMNaHCO
, and 11.1 mMglucose. The preparations
were mounted under a tension of 1 g in a 10-mL organ bath
containing PSS at 37 1C and aerated with a gas mixture
(95% O
and 5% CO
). The responses were recorded iso-
metrically on a minigraph (Lafayette Instrument Co., La-
fayette, IN, USA). After a 60-minute equilibration period
during which the PSS was replaced every 15 minutes,
concentration–effect curves for the aqueous extract of
L. nobilis leaf (1, 50, 100, 225, 316, and 400 mg/mL) were
established. The responses of the ileum to the aqueous
extract of L. nobilis leaves were expressed as percentages
of the maximum relaxation to a nonspecific relaxant agent
(papaverine; 10
M), which was added at the end of the
Statistical analysis
Data were expressed as mean SEM values. Statistical
significance was assessed by Student’s ttest, and differences
were considered significant when P<.05. Experimental data
were analyzed by a computer-fitting treatment using
GraphPad Prism version 5.0 software (GraphPad Software,
San Diego, CA, USA). The effective concentration pro-
ducing 50% of the maximum response (EC
) was calcu-
lated by the best visual fit from the plot of the individual
Effect of L. nobilis aqueous extract on castor
oil–induced diarrhea
One hour after administration of castor oil, diarrhea was
apparent in the control group, and it persisted for the next 4
hours (Table 1). This was largely eliminated by the intra-
peritoneal injection of diphenoxylate in the fourth group.
L. nobilis aqueous extract significantly inhibited the diar-
rheal effect of castor oil in a dose-dependent manner. The
was 150 6.4 mg/kg.
Effect of L. nobilis aqueous extract on castor
oil–induced enteropooling
L. nobilis extract (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg) caused a
significant dose-dependent decrease in castor oil-induced
enteropooling in rats (Table 2), with an EC
of 162
5.9 mg/kg.
Effect of L. nobilis aqueous extract
on small intestinal transit
The aqueous extract of L. nobilis (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg)
caused a dose-dependent decrease in the propulsion of
the charcoal meal through the gastrointestinal tract com-
pared with the control group (Table 3). The EC
139 3.1 mg/kg. The inhibition of intestinal transit pro-
duced by the extract was not as prominent as that caused by
atropine sulfate.
Table 1. Effect of L. nobilis Aqueous Extract on Diarrhea
Induced by 1mL of Castor Oil in Rats
Treatment Dose
Mean of wet/loose
feces in 5 hours % inhibition
PSS 3 mL/kg 17.0 2.1 —
L. nobilis 100 mg/kg 14.2 2.4 16
L. nobilis 200 mg/kg 10.5 2.1** 38
L. nobilis 400 mg/kg 6.7 1.2** 61
Diphenoxylate 5 mg/kg 4.0 0.7** 76
Rats were treated with different concentrations of aqueous extract of L.
nobilis leaf, the antidiarrheatic agent diphenoxylate, or physiological salt
solution (PSS). Castor oil was given orally to all animals 1 hour after
treatment, and the number of wet droppings was counted every hour for 5
hours. The mean SEM value (n=6) of the wet/loose feces was calculated and
averaged for the 5-hour period.
**P<.05, significantly different from control by Student’s ttest.
Table 2. Effect of L. nobilis Aqueous Extract
on Enteropooling Induced by 1mL of Castor Oil in Rats
Treatment Dose
Weight of
intestine (g)
Weight of
content (g)
% inhibition
PSS 3 mL/kg 7.35 0.21 1.80 0.40 —
L. nobilis 100 mg/kg 7.72 0.37 1.60 0.21 11
L. nobilis 200 mg/kg 8.01 0.52 1.18 0.29** 34
L. nobilis 400 mg/kg 7.26 0.44 0.81 0.12** 55
Rats were treated either with different concentrations of aqueous extract of
L. nobilis leaf or with PSS. Castor oil was given orally to all animals 1 hour
after treatment. Two hours later, rats were sacrificed, and small intestine was
ligated, dissected out, and weighed. The intestine was reweighed after milking
off the contents, the difference was calculated and averaged, and the
percentage of inhibition of enteropooling relative to the PSS control was
calculated. Data are mean SEM values (n=6).
**P<.05, significantly different from control by Student’s ttest.
Effect of L. nobilis aqueous extract
on the tone of isolated ileum
The aqueous extract (50–400 mg/mL) caused a concen-
tration-dependent decrease in the amplitude of the phasic
contractions and relaxed the tone of the longitudinal seg-
ments of the ileum (Fig. 1). The EC
of aqueous extract for
relaxation of ileal segments was 71 5.3 mg/mL (n=6). The
relaxant effect of aqueous extract was fully reversible after
washout of the extract and replacement with PSS.
The castor oil test has been extensively used in pharma-
cology to induce diarrhea and to evaluate antidiarrheal
properties of potential drugs in rats, and castor oil–induced
diarrhea in rats has been used to reproduce certain aspects of
human diarrhea.
The diarrheal effect of castor oil has
been attributed to several possible mechanisms. On the one
hand, castor oil liberates the active principle, ricinoleic acid,
which results in irritation and inflammation of the intestinal
mucosa. This leads to the release of prostaglandins and
perhaps other autacoids,
which stimulate motility and se-
cretion, two strongly suspected factors that may cause di-
arrhea. On the other hand, castor oil and its active principle
reduce active Na
and K
absorption and decrease Na
-ATPase activity in the small intestine and colon.
will lead to decreased absorption, another factor that pre-
disposes to diarrhea. Moreover, nitric oxide has been shown
to mediate, in part, the laxative effects of castor oil, although
it offers a protective effect against mucosal damage caused
by the laxative.
Other effects have also been reported.
The present experiments demonstrate that the aqueous
leaf extract of L. nobilis has an antidiarrheal effect. This has
been demonstrated by the following observations: (1) the
dose-dependent decrease in the number of wet/loose feces
during a period of 5 hours after castor oil administration; (2)
the significant reduction of enteropooling; and (3) the sig-
nificant reduction of charcoal transit in animals treated with
the aqueous extract, because decreasing the intestinal mo-
tility is considered one of the goals of the antidiarrheal
Many antidiarrheal agents, among them codeine
and octreotide, have an antimotility effect.
opiods, which are effective antidiarrheal agents, also block
intestinal propulsion. Presumably, these substances increase
the contact time of materials with the intestinal mucosa, an
effect that is assumed to enhance the likelihood of absorp-
In addition, (4) concentration-dependent relaxation
of small intestine is caused by the leaf extract because it has
been shown that spasmolytic agents are effective antidiar-
rheal agents.
In support of this, the observed antidiarrheal
effect of wood creosote has been partly attributed to inhi-
bition of the amplitude of the spontaneous phasic contrac-
tions of longitudinal and circular smooth muscles in guinea
pig intestinal segments, as well as contractions induced by
Of particular interest is the inhibition of enteropooling by
the leaf extract of L. nobilis. Enteropooling caused by castor
oil may result from secretory diarrhea, which results in ac-
cumulation of water and electrolytes in the intestinal lumen.
Table 3. Effect of L. nobilis Aqueous Extract on Intestinal
Motility 60 Minutes After Charcoal Administration
Treatment Dose
of charcoal meal (%) % inhibition
PSS 3 mL/kg 65.6 3.1 —
L. nobilis 100 mg/kg 59.1 1.9 10
L. nobilis 200 mg/kg 48.5 2.3** 26
L. nobilis 400 mg/kg 39.5 4.1** 40
Atropine 1 mg/kg 31.2 4.1** 52
Rats were treated with different concentrations of aqueous extract of L.
nobilis leaf, the anticholinergic agent atropine sulfate, or PSS. One-half
milliliter of charcoal meal was given to all animals 1 hour after treatment. One
hour later, the small intestine was removed, and the distance traveled by the
charcoal was measured, calculated as a percentage of intestine length, and
averaged for every group. Data are mean SEM values from six animals.
**P<.05, significantly different from control by Student’s ttest.
FIG. 1. (A) Effect of increasing concentrations of aqueous extract
(AE) of L. nobilis leaf on rat isolated ileum. Segments of the ileum
were isolated and mounted for isometric recording. The effect of
washing out AE is shown. pap, papaverine. (B) Concentration–effect
curve for increasing concentrations of the AE of L. nobilis leaf on rat
isolated ileum. Data are mean SEM values of six experiments.
Some diarrhea-causing agents, like cholera toxin, activate
adenylate cyclase in the enterocytes and increase the pro-
duction of cyclic AMP, which inhibits Na
absorption and
stimulates Cl
secretion, thus leading to massive water se-
cretion into the lumen and to secretory diarrhea.
secretory diarrhea toxins such as Escherichia coli heat-sta-
ble enterotoxin may activate a similar mechanism except
that the second messenger is cyclic GMP.
Castor oil and its metabolite ricinoleic acid are among the
list of drugs associated with secretory diarrhea, functioning
probably through stimulation of cyclic AMP production.
The signal transduction of this second messenger involves
phosphorylation of membrane proteins that are involved in
ion transport, resulting in active secretion of Cl
, passive
efflux of Na
, and water, leading to net fluid secretion.
Furthermore, castor oil has been shown to inhibit intestinal
-ATPase activity, thus reducing normal fluid ab-
The pump that is located in the basolateral
membranes of enterocytes creates electronegativity inside
the cell, which serves, in part, as a driving force for sodium
and water entry from the intestinal lumen into the cell. Once
a cell is inhibited by castor oil or its metabolite, Na
water absorption would be compromised, and enteropooling
would occur. The observation that the leaf extract of L. nobilis
inhibited enteropooling (EC
=162 5.9 mg/kg) suggests
that either absorption was enhanced or secretion was in-
hibited, or both processes occurred. Whether this effect re-
sults from inhibition of cyclic AMP production, stimulation
of Na
-ATPase, or some other mechanism cannot be
resolved from the present experiments.
Many components in the leaf extract could have been
responsible for the observed effect. Phytochemical analysis
of the aqueous extract of L. nobilis in our laboratory re-
vealed the presence of flavonoids, alkaloids, and tannates.
Each of these constituents is a potential candidate to mediate
the antidiarrheal properties of L. nobilis extract. For exam-
ple, tannic acid and tannins are water-soluble polyphenols
that are present in many plants and to which the antidiar-
rheal effect of many plants have been attributed.
It has
been argued that the presence of tannates in the aqueous
extract of L. nobilis leaf may make the intestinal mucosa
more resistant to secretion and thereby reduces secretion.
On the other hand, flavonoids have antidiarrheal proper-
ties, and this activity has been attributed to their ability to
inhibit intestinal mobility and hydroelectrolytic secretion.
Furthermore, flavonoids, such as quercetin, inhibit the in-
testinal secretory response to prostaglandin E
both in vitro
and in vivo,
despite observations to the contrary that
showed that dietary quercetin induces Cl
secretion in rat
small and large intestine.
Also, flavonoids and alkaloids are
known to inhibit the release of autacoids and prostaglan-
This effect is interesting because prostaglandins, in
particular prostaglandin E
, are known to induce a secretory
response in the intestine
and to stimulate motility.
To stress the potential role of flavonoids in the present
observations, phytochemical investigation of L. nobilis
leaves and fruits led to the isolation of the flavonoids api-
genin, luteolin, kaempferol, myrecitin, and quercitin as well
as sesquiterpene lactones, alkaloids, monoterpenes, germa-
crane alcohols, and glycosylated flavones.
The total con-
tent of flavonoids was 0.68 mg/g of leaves. This observation
is of particular interest because flavones typically have an
inhibitory effect on Cl
channels when present in relatively
high concentrations. In particular, luteolin and quercitin
both were found in the aqueous extract of L. nobilis leaf
and showed potent inhibitory effect on Cl
currents across
the membrane of a human colonic epithelial cell line.
If the
aqueous extract in our experiments contains such flavo-
noids, then it is likely that they inhibit Cl
secretion through
the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator
channel, which is the major Cl
channel in the intestinal
epithelium. This would explain the inhibition of en-
teropooling observed in the present experiments and would
explain in part the mechanism of action of L. nobilis leaf
extract. In addition, we have demonstrated a direct inhibi-
tory effect of the aqueous leaf extract on intestinal smooth
muscle motility, an effect that has been induced consistently
by flavonoids.
Other indirect effects such as inhibition of
the release of autacoids need to be investigated.
The inhibitory effect of the aqueous extract of L. nobilis
leaf justifies the use of the plant in folk medicine as a
nonspecific antidiarrheal agent. The extract meets some of
the criteria for acceptance as an antidiarrheal agent.
criteria include inhibition of the production of wet or un-
formed feces in animals, as demonstrated in our experi-
ments, and the inhibition of gastrointestinal propulsive
action, which was demonstrated using the charcoal meal
transit. Also, because decreasing the intestinal motility is
one of the goals of the antidiarrheal therapy,
the use of the
aqueous extract of L. nobilis leaf seems to be consistent with
this goal.
In conclusion, the present experiments show that the
aqueous extract of L. nobilis leaf has an antidiarrheal effect
as demonstrated by a decrease in the number of wet/loose
feces, enteropooling, and intestinal charcoal meal transit and
by inhibition of ileal smooth muscle tone. The experiments
support the traditional medicine use of the aqueous leaf
extract of the plant in the treatment of diarrhea. The active
constituents responsible for the antidiarrheal activity remain
to be identified, although flavonoids, alkaloids, and tannates
are likely candidates. Further studies are needed to under-
stand the mechanism of this observed antidiarrheal action.
This study was supported by a grant of the Deanship for
Scientific Research, Hashemite University.
No competing financial interests exist.
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... Moreover, L. nobilis leaves are used traditionally as a herbal medicine for their antibacterial and antioxidant properties [14][15][16]. An L. nobilis leaf extract had several pharmacological effects, including antioxidant [17], anti-inflammatory [18], anti-hypertensive [19], antidiabetic [20], and anti-diarrheal [21] effects. ...
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BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES Excessive alcohol consumption has harmful health effects, including alcohol hangovers and alcohol-related liver disease. Therefore, methods to accelerate the alcohol metabolism are needed. Laurus nobilis is a spice, flavoring agent, and traditional herbal medicine against various diseases. This study examined whether the standardized aqueous extract of L. nobilis leaves (LN) accelerates the alcohol metabolism and protects against liver damage in single-ethanol binge Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. MATERIALS/METHODS LN was administered orally to SD rats 1 h before ethanol administration (3 g/kg body weight [BW]) at 100 and 300 mg/kg BW. Blood samples were collected 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 h after ethanol administration. The livers were excised 1 h after ethanol administration to determine the hepatic enzyme activity. The alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities in the liver tissue were measured. RESULTS LN decreased the serum ethanol and acetaldehyde levels in ethanol-administered rats. LN increased the hepatic ADH and ALDH activities but decreased the alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and gamma-glutamyl transferase activities in the ethanol-administered rats. In addition, LN inhibited lipid peroxidation and increased the activities of SOD and GPx. CONCLUSIONS LN modulates the mediators of various etiological effects of excessive alcohol consumption and enhances the alcohol metabolism and antioxidant activity, making it a potential candidate for hangover treatments.
... Antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiproliferative, antiprotozoal, and cytotoxicity activity studies were conducted on the laurel leaves in vitro conditions (Julianti et al. 2012;Abu-Dahab et al. 2014;Kıvrak et al. 2017;Rizwana et al. 2019;Dobroslavic et al. 2021;Batiha et al. 2020). The antidiabetic, antidiarrheal, gastroprotective, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, and wound healing effects of the leaves have been demonstrated by in vivo studies (Nayak et al. 2006;Ham et al. 2011;Speroni et al. 2011;Qnais et al. 2012;Ravindran et al. 2013;Mohammed et al. 2021). ...
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Laurus nobilis L. is an aromatic shrub or tree, Mediterranean element. The leaves are employed as a spice and for medicinal purposes. It is known by various names in Turkey, such as “defne, har and tehnel.” In this study, 15 different laurel leaf samples were purchased from 6 different cities in Turkey, diagnosed, and evaluated in terms of quality. The conditions of use and sale of these samples were evaluated. The essential oils obtained from the leaf samples were analyzed, and their physical properties such as density, refractive index, and optical rotation were determined. In the chemical composition of the oils, 1,8-cineole (41.2–64.4%), sabinene (1.5–15.9%), and α-terpinyl acetate (1.5–15%) have been found to be the major components. However, in one station, the presence of 1,8-cineole was not be determined. Laurel leaf drugs offered for sale in some provinces of Turkey were purchased from the market and their morphological characteristics and essential oil profiles were examined and evaluated in terms of public health. It was determined that these samples should be standardized and quality-controlled before being released to the market.
... The fruits and leaves both exhibit aromatic, energizing, and narcotic qualities. 18 Numerous studies have demonstrated the antibacterial and antioxidant properties of laurel ethanolic extract and/or extract. L. nobilis leaves have been consumed orally for a long time to treat gastrointestinal symptoms such flatulence and bloating in the epigastrium. ...
... Indeed, L. nobilis is often used to treat asthma [25], cardiac diseases [26], digestive disorders, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and rheumatic pain [27]. Traditionally, the leaves of L. nobilis have also been used to relieve arthritis [28], skin inflammation [29], and gastrointestinal problems (epigastric bloating and flatulence) [30,31], as well as a diuretic [32][33][34]. ...
Background Native to the Southern Mediterranean region, Laurus nobilis L. (Family Lauraceae) is an evergreen shrub or tree found in warm climate regions with high rainfall. The leaves and essential oil of this plant have been widely used as condiments, spices, and flavoring agents in the culinary and food industries. The whole plant is also used for the traditional treatment of various diseases, including cough, asthma, hemorrhoids, rheumatic pain, diarrhea, intestinal, and cardiac diseases. Previous phytochemical investigation of this plant demonstrated the presence of a variety of secondary metabolites, especially terpenoids. Aim The present study aims to critically analyze comprehensive literature on the pharmacological activity and mechanisms of action of terpenoids from Laurus nobilis L. Methods The available information on the pharmacological activity of terpenoids from L. nobilis L. was obtained from textbooks, theses, as well as published articles through a variety of libraries and electronic databases. Results The present study demonstrated that L. nobilis is rich in terpenoids, with more than 200 entities identified in reported studies. Terpenoids from L. nobilis have shown a wide range of pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antifungal, antibacterial, immunomodulatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant and cytotoxic activities. The mechanisms of action of most of these terpenoids included the imbalance of the ionic permeability of the cell membrane (anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities), modulation of the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)nergic neurotransmission (anticonvulsant activity), and the inhibition of inflammatory responses, prevention of metastasis, and induction of apoptosis (cytotoxic effect), among others. Conclusion Referring to in vitro studies, terpenoids of L. nobilis L. have shown a variety of biological activities. However, more cytotoxic and in vivo studies and detailed mechanisms of action of the bioactive terpenoids are recommended.
... People in the developing countries still rely on this type of treatment system 18 . Among the various medicinal plants, antidiarrhoeal activity was found in plants which possess phytoconstituents like alkaloids, tannins 19 , flavonoids 20 and triterpenes 21 . From the earlier studies, it has been reported that Ficus bengalensis containing tannins and flavonoids possessed antidiarrhoeal activity and the underlying mechanism appears to be spasmolytic and anti-enteropooling property by which it produced relief from diarrhoea 22 . ...
India has a dense forest with plenty of medicinal plants which have been used as folklore medicines by the local people for many years. They used different plant parts of Ficus species to treat diarrhoea. Depending on the traditional use of some plants of Ficus genus as antidiarrhoeal, this plant was selected to evaluate antidiarrhoeal activity in animal models. Wistar albino rats weighing 180 to 200 grams were used in this study. There were five groups in each experimental model with six animals in each group. The antidiarrhoeal activity was evaluated by different experimental models namely castor oil-induced diarrhoeaand magnesium sulphate induced diarrhoea. The methanolic extract of Ficus dalhousiae leaves showed significant antidiarrhoeal activity against castor oil-induced diarrhoea and magnesium sulphate induced diarrhoea in rats. The methanolic extracts at 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg significantly inhibited diarrhoea. There was a significant dose-dependent anti diarrhoeal effect in both the animal models as compared to the standard drug (P<0.01). Based on the results in experimental models, the methanolic extract of Ficus dalhausiae demonstrated significant reductions in faecal output when compared to the standard groups. In conclusion it can be said that tannins and flavonoids present in the plant extracts may be responsible for the antidiarrhoeal activity.
... The extract remarkably decreased intestinal transit of a charcoal meal and inhibited pronouncedly rat ileal smooth muscle tone as dose-dependent (EC50 = 71 ± 5.3 mg/mL). Also, the number of wet/loose feces in the rat was decreased (Qnais et al. 2012). ...
Laurus nobilis L. is evergreen aromatic shrubs or trees, belongs to Lauraceae family, and is cultivated because of its aromatic leaves and ornamental interest. This chapter first summarized the description and distribution of the plant. Its chemical composition and traditional use were demonstrated in detail. The biological activities of its extracts, fractions, and pure compounds have been highlighted for further studies of the researchers. Besides, its toxicity and allergenicity properties were indicated.Keywords Laurus nobilis Traditional useChemical compositionBiological activities
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Laurus nobilis belongs to the family Lauraceae and is characterized by its evergreen nature. It is well known because of its traditional use in cooking and folk medicine. Many studies have been performed regarding its chemical composition and the pharmacological potential it exhibits. It has been reported to have antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, biocidal, antidiabetic, antiulcerogenic, neuroprotective, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anticholinergic properties, making this plant of great clinical importance. The main chemical compounds that show bioactive properties in L. nobilis are terpenoids, phenolics, and fatty acids. The purpose of this review is to describe the main use of L. nobilis, notably of the leaves and fruits, and to relate their metabolite content with their pharmacological and toxicological properties.
Conference Paper
The Laurus nobilis (bay leaf) is a nutrient-rich powder and its improving effect on healthy long been studied. This study investigated the impact of Laurus nobilis leaves powder extract on some lipids against Induced by Monosodium Glutamate in rabbits. In this study, 18 rabbit male rabbits were used in the laboratory Lepus arcticus Adults aged between six to twelve months, and their average weight ranged between (1.80 - 1.55) kilograms, divide the rabbits as follows the G1 was considered control group orally administered 1 mL of normal saline,the group G2 was orally 15 milligram/kilogram of toxic substance (MSG), the group G3 treated 15 milligram/kilogram MSG after 4 hours of receiving 600 milligram/kilogram of the bay leaf daily for 30 days. The physiological parameters were measured. It was found through the research: *Rats high moral HDL for G3 compared with the G2. * Rats lower moral for lipid profile TC, TG, LDL for G3 compared with the G2. * Rats high moral TC, TG, LDL while lower moral HDL for G2 compared with the G1.
Zusammenfassung Laurus nobilis L., Echter Lorbeer, ist eine immergrüne Pflanze, die zur Familie der Lauraceaen gehört. Die Blätter und Früchte werden seit Jahrhunderten in der Volksmedizin eingesetzt, z. B. bei Magenbeschwerden, Entzündungen, Stoffwechselkrankheiten, Infektionen oder als Insektizid. In den letzten Jahren werden Drogen und Inhaltsstoffe dieser Arzneipflanze vermehrt pharmakologisch untersucht, insbesondere wegen der Wirksamkeit bei chronisch entzündlichen und metabolischen Störungen.
Traditionally, Laurus nobilis is used for the treatment of earaches and skin rashes as well as rheumatism. The most common technique to isolate the oil is hydro-distillation and steam-distillation. The investigation presented in this paper was aimed to unravel the antimicrobial activity and chemical composition of essential oil in the leaves of L. nobilis grown in Oman. The essential oil was extracted from the leave of the selected plant species by hydro distillation using Clevenger type apparatus. The antimicrobial assay was done by disc diffusion methods against three bacterial strains, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli, and one fungal strain: Candida albicans. The isolated essential oil was analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The percentage yield of the essential oil was 0.064% (w/w). The essential oil was found actively against the applied bacterial and fungal strains. The highest activity was found against S. aureus and the lowest was against E. coli, and the order was S. aureus > P. aeruginosa > E. coli. The essential oil was also active against the fungus C. albicans. The range of inhibition zones was 6–14 mm. The results of GC-MS analysis showed (E)-β-caryophyllene to be the major component about 59.62%. Other major components included α-selinene (14.03%), α-humulene (8.65%), β-selinene (4.99%), and α-pinene (4.98%). In addition, several minor components were found in the essential oil of L. nobilis. Based on the experimental results, it showed that the plant species that grown in Oman were a potential source of therapeutic agents. In conclusion, the essential oil and the plant could be used as natural and potential therapeutic agents to treat earaches, skin rashes, and rheumatism.
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Bay leaf belongs to the family Lauraceae, and it is one of the most popular culinary spices in all Western countries. Bay leaf has been used as herbal medicine and has pharmacological activity which includes anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-diabetes and anti-inflammatory effects. The goal of this study was to identify compounds from Bay leaf (Laurus nobilis), which are responsible for inducing apoptosis using bioassay-directed isolation. The isolation of active compounds was carried out in three steps: multiple extractions, fractionation using column chromatography and purification using semi-preparative HPLC. The structure of separated compounds was determined on the basis of 1H, 13C nuclear magnetic resonance data, atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry data, and electron ionization mass spectrometry. Six compounds were identified; all of them are sesquiterpene lactones.
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Purpose: The objective of the study was to investigate the ethyl acetate extract of Morinda morindoides (Baker) Milne-Redh (Rubiaceae) (MM-EA) properties against experimental diarrheoa induced by castor oil in albino Wistar rats. Methods: The ethyl acetate extract of Morinda morindoides (250, 500, and 1000 mg/kg body weight) was administered orally to three groups of rats (five animals per group) in order to evaluate the activity of the extract against castor oil-induced diarrhea model in rat. Two other groups received normal saline (5mg/kg) and loperamide (5mg/kg) as positive control. The effect of the extract on intestinal transit and castor oil-induced intestinal fluid accumulation (enteropooling) was assessed. Results: At oral doses of 250, 500, and 1000 mg/kg body weight, the plant extract showed pronounced and dose-dependent antidiarrheal activity. The protective role of the extract at 1000 mg/kg was comparable to that of the reference drug, loperamide (5mg/kg). The extract (1000 mg/kg) produced a decrease in intestinal transit comparable to atropine (5mg/kg), and significantly (p<0.01) inhibited castor oil-induced enteropooling. No mortality and visible signs of general weakness were observed in the rats following the extract administration of up to a dose of 6000 mg/kg. Conclusion: The results showed that the extract of M. morindoides has a significant antidiarrheal activity which supports its use in traditional herbal medicine practice.
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The in vitro and in vivo antioxidant activities of different extracts of laurel leaves were studied. Free radical scavenging capacity (RSC) was evaluated measuring the scavenging activity on the DPPH, NO, O(2)(.-) and OH radicals. The effects on lipid peroxidation (LP) were also evaluated. Experimental results indicate that ethyl acetate extract of leaves has exhibited the largest RSC capacity in neutralization of DPPH, NO, O(2)(.-) and OH radicals. The same result was obtained in investigation of extracts impact on LP. The in vivo effects were evaluated on some antioxidant systems (activities of GSHPx, LPx, Px, CAT and XOD, and GSH content) in the mice liver and blood-hemolysate after treatment with the examined laurel extracts, or in combination with carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4)). On the basis of the results obtained it can be concluded that the examined extracts exhibited a certain protective effect, which is more pronounced on the liver than on blood-hemolysate parameters. The results obtained indicate toxicity of CCl(4), probably due to the radicals involved in its metabolism. Combined treatments with CCl(4) and the examined extracts showed both positive and negative synergism. Based on the experimental results, the strongest protective effect was shown by the EtOAc extract.
Diarrhoea and constipation are common side effects of many drugs. In older persons, these iatrogenic consequences compound the increased prevalence of acute and chronic illness. An awareness of diarrhoea and constipation as complications of drug therapy in this age group and the use of preventative measures wherever practical may significantly improve the quality of life of the patient. It is important to understand the mechanisms whereby medications may cause diarrhoea and constipation and to periodically review drug use in the elderly. This second part of the review explains the mechanisms of drug-induced constipation and presents examples of drugs commonly associated with this abnormality of bowel function. Aust J Hosp Pharm 2000; 30: 210-13. INTRODUCTION Constipation, perhaps more so than diarrhoea, is a significant problem in older persons. Both constipation and a troublesome consequence, spurious or overflow diarrhoea due to faecal impaction, can seriously affect the quality of life of patients and carers. Unrecognised spurious diarrhoea can result in unnecessary investigations that are both expensive and uncomfortable to the patient. Most instances of constipation in older persons are secondary to drug side effects, rather than an illness altering gastrointestinal tract motility or age-related changes of the gastrointestinal tract. There is no strict definition of constipation. This reflects the considerable variation in normal bowel habit. Constipation may be described as a chronic condition of over six weeks duration with the passage of hard stools and/or a frequency of bowel action less than three times a week. Some patients may use the term constipation to refer to straining during the passage of stools or a sense of incomplete evacuation (real or imagined). A US study of 209 elderly persons living at home showed that 30 per cent of men and 29 per cent of women reported that they
The composition of eight samples of commercial copaiba oils, used in the Amazonian region as antiinflammatory agents and available in popular markets, were analysed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (HRGC-MS). Major differences were observed in their chemical composition and some adulterations were pointed out. When tested in vivo oils 1 and 3, and to a lesser extent oil 6, significantly inhibited bradykinin-induced oedema formation. The other tested oils had no effect. When assessed in carrageenan-induced oedema formation, oils 1, 2 and 6, but not oil 3, significantly attenuated the oedema formation. The other tested oils failed to affect carrageenan-induced paw oedema. Oils 1 and 6 were further fractionated and several sesquiterpenes and diterpenes were detected. It is suggested that the naturally occurring sesquiterpenes present in the copaiba oils seem to be responsible for the antiinflammatory action reported in the folk medicine. Furthermore, our results clearly show an adulteration in copaiba oils available in Brazil. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Diarrhoea and constipation are common side effects of many drugs. In the elderly, such drug‐related iatrogenic conditions compound the increased prevalence of acute and chronic illness. In older persons, an awareness of diarrhoea and constipation as complications of drug therapy and the use of preventative measures wherever practical may significantly increase the quality of life of the patient. It is important to understand the mechanisms whereby medications may cause diarrhoea and constipation and to periodically review drug use in the elderly. The first part of this review explains the mechanisms involved in drug‐induced diarrhoea and gives examples of drugs commonly involved.
Abstract The mechanism by which laxatives such as dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate and ricinoleic acid evoke colonic fluid secretion has been suggested to involve mucosal cyclic AMP. Ricinoleic acid and dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate were tested for their capacity to modulate the key enzymes of cAMP-metabolism– adenylate cyclase and cAMP-phosphodiesterase–in human colonic mucosa. Both laxatives were ineffective stimuli of human colonic adenylate cyclase. In contrast to ricinoleic acid, dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate was a competitive inhibitor of soluble cAMP-phosphodiesterase activity. These experiments suggest that the cathartic properties of dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate in human colonic mucosa might be mediated by cyclic AMP via inhibition of soluble phosphodiesterase activity.