Anti-motility and reductions in the concentrations of gut electrolytes: Mechanisms for the anti-spasmodic use of the seeds of avocado (Persea americana Mill) in folk medicine

  • Christian E Odo
  • Okwesili FC Nwodo
  • Parker E Joshua
  • Yusuf S Omeh
  • Christopher C Okonkwo
  • Ajiroghene S Gometi
  • Paul C Nweje-Anyalowu
  • Dickson I Dickson

Abstract

The seeds of avocado (Persea americana Mill) are used in traditional medicine to treat, allay or prevent some spasm-related disorders, for instance, diarrhoea. The chloroform and methanol fractions of the chloroform-methanol extract of the seeds of P. americana were investigated for their qualitative and quantitative phytochemical constituents as well as effects on gastro-intestinal motility (transit) and castor oil-induced intestinal fluid sodium ion (Na+) and potassium ion (K+) concentrations in Wistar rats. The qualitative and quantitative phytochemical studies of the chloroform and methanol fractions showed the presence and amounts of alkaloids (2.92 ± 0.14 g/100 g and 2.81 ± 0.08 g/100 g respectively), flavonoids (3.43 ± 0.19 g/100 g and 3.11 ± 0.16 g/100 g, respectively), tannins (2.64 ± 0.13 g/100 g and 2.85 ± 0.14 g/100 g, respectively), steroids (1.51 ± 0.07 g/100 g and 1.27 ± 0.04 g/100 g, respectively), saponins (2.35 ± 0.08 % and 2.47 ± 0.09%, respectively), terpenoids, proteins and carbohydrates in both fractions. Fats and oil were present only in the chloroform fraction. At the two doses (100 and 200 mg/kg body weight), the chloroform and methanol fractions produced significant (p<0.05) and dose-related decreases in the gastro-intestinal motility and concentration of the intestinal fluid potassium ions but only the chloroform fraction at the dose of 200 mg/kg body weight significantly (p<0.05) decreased the concentration of the intestinal fluid sodium ions. Results of the fractions were comparable with those of the standard anti-diarrhoeal drug, hyoscine butylbromide (3 mg/kg body weight). The results indicate that the chloroform-methanol extract of the seeds of P. americana contains compounds with anti-spasmodic effect.

Keywords: Persea americana, spasm-related, castor oil, gastro-intestinal motility and electrolytes

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(37), pp. 5610-5617

Author Biographies

Christian E Odo
Pharmacology Research Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
Okwesili FC Nwodo
Pharmacology Research Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
Parker E Joshua
Pharmacology Research Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
Yusuf S Omeh
Department of Biochemistry, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria.
Christopher C Okonkwo
Pharmacology Research Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
Ajiroghene S Gometi
Pharmacology Research Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
Paul C Nweje-Anyalowu
Pharmacology Research Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
Dickson I Dickson
Department of Microbiology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
Published
2016-05-12
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1684-5315