Some Pharmacological Studies Of Aqueous Extract Of Leaves Of Euphorbia Heterophylla
This work was set out to identify the pharmacological basis for the laxative effect of leaves of Euphorbia heterophylla as well as identify its other pharmacological properties: Material/ Methods: Effect of aqueous extract of the leaves was tested on isolated guinea pig ileum and isolated pregnant rat uterus using organ bath and kymograph. Its anticoagulant properties were tested on whole blood. Results: The extract produced statistically significant contractions of isolated guinea pig ileum similar to that produced by histamine and acetylcholine. It also produced statistically significant contraction of pregnant rat uterus comparable to that produced by oxytocin. The contractile responses on the intestine and uterus were blocked by atropine and salbutamol respectively. The extract also exhibited marked anticoagulant activity in vitro. Conclusion: It is suggested that the laxative effect of this extract is as a result of increased peristaltic movements of the intestine. It is also believed that this extract acted as a muscarinic agent in this experiment since its action was blocked by atropine. While it is tempting to conclude that oxytocic effect of the extract is as a result of binding to oxytocin receptors, this cannot be substantiated because salbutamol, which blocked this effect, is a non-specific relaxant of the pregnant uterus. The saponins richly contained in the extract may be responsible for the observed anticoagulant effect
Keywords: Euphorbia heterophylla, Laxative Anticoagulant, Abortifacient.
Tropical Journal of Medical Research Vol. 10 (2) 2006: pp. 1-5