Screening for Biological Activity of Solanum incanum and Conyza sumatresnsis Using the Isolated Rabbit Intestine

  • M Mathiu
  • P M Mbugua
  • J Mugweru


Traditional medicine (TM) is becoming more popular in the developed countries and up to 80% of people in the developing countries use TM as part of primary health care. Herbal remedies are the key components of traditional animal and human medicines. Some plants used in TM are known to be toxic or potentially harmful. This situation has given rise to concerns about TM safety and standards. Therefore there is need for objective scientific evaluation of the physiological and pharmacological effects of these plants products. The isolated Rabbit jejunum smooth muscle contraction assay was used to screen two Kenyan medicinal plants; Solanum incanum and Conyza sumatrensis used to treat/relieve constipation. Cold and Heat extraction methods were used to prepare the plant extracts from freshly collected root and stem barks of S. incanum and roots and leaves of C. sumatrensis. Solanum incanum cold extracts increased both motility and force of contractions of isolated jejunum segments while the heat extracts had no effect on either the GIT motility or the force of contraction. Conyza sumatrensis leaves heat/cold extracts reduced the force of contractions with no effect on the GIT motility. The contrasting effects on the GIT function by S. incanum and C. sumatrensis yet they are both used by traditional medical practitioners to treat constipation supports the concerns about safety, efficacy and standards of Traditional Herbal Medicines.

The Kenya Veterinarian Vol. 29 2005: pp. 29-32

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eISSN: 0256-5161