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
AbstractThe 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