The Effect of Aqueous Root Extract of Watherian Indica on Gastrointestinal Smooth Muscle Activity
AbstractWatherian indica is a dicotyledonous shrub used in the treatment of diarrhoea in Northern Nigeria. It consists of a well-defined mixture of flavonoids, saponins, sugars, alkaloids and mucilage. Both in vitro and in vivo experiments of the aqueous extract were done. The study to determine the in vivo effect of aqueous root extract of the shrub was on the gastrointestinal transit in conscious rats. In the in vivo experiment, fasted rats were given 20, 40, 60 and 80 mg/kg of the extract orally and 15 minutes later, 0.5ml of 10% charcoal (BaSO4. H2O) was administered into the conscious animals. The control group received the vehicle (normal saline) before charcoal meal. In the in vitro experiment, the effect of 0.2, 0.4, 0.6 and 0.8mg/ml of the extract on the frequency and strength of contraction of an isolated rabbit jejunum was determined using a multi-channel physiograph (model PMP-4B). The result of the study indicates that Watherian indica root extract delays the gastrointestinal transit and inhibit the strength and rate of gastrointestinal smooth muscle contraction in a dose dependent manner. These experimental results suggest that Watherian indica inhibits the normal peristaltic movement of the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, its anti-diarrhoea properties may be mediated through modification of mechanical activity of the intestinal smooth muscle.
Key WordS:Watherian indica, gastrointestinal transit, charcoal, diarrhoeal, rabbit jejunum.
[Nig. Jnl Health & Biomedical Sciences Vol.2(1) 2003: 27-30]