Evaluating the anti-diarrheal activity of the Lantana camara (wild sage)

Ethiopian researchers investigated the use of the traditional medicinal plant Lantana camatra, also known as the wild sage, as a treatment for diarrhea. Using rats to simulate the disease, they reported that a herbal extract drawn from the plant’s aqueous stem showed anti-diarrhea properties in addition to an anti-spasmodic effect that reduced gastrointestinal motility.

The Addis Ababa University funded the study. The researchers published their findings in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • Developing countries continue to struggle with diarrhea. In Ethiopia, traditional healers use the stem of L. camara as one of the many herbal remedies for the disease.
  • Researchers created a mice model with castor oil-induced diarrhea to test the extract. They also set up enteropooling and small intestine transit models to determine any additional effects of the treatment.
  • Three groups of diarrhea rats received 100, 200, and 400 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of the L. camara extract. A fourth group was given 3 mg/kg of the standard anti-diarrhea drug loperamide while the control group only got distilled water.
  • All three doses of the extract lengthened the arrival of diarrhea, reduced the recurrence of excretion, and also decreased the weight of feces during each episode. Extract-treated mice also showed significantly slower gastrointestinal motility during the charcoal meal test.
  • Analysis of the L. camara extract showed alkaloids, flavonoids, phytosterols, and tannins. Some or all of these phytochemicals may be the bio-active compounds that prevent diarrhea.

Based on their experimental results, the researchers concluded that the L. camara-based extract displayed anti-diarrhea activity, providing scientific evidence that supported the plant’s long-time use as a treatment for diarrhea.

The full text is available.

Journal Reference:

Tadesse E, Engidawork E, Nedi T, Mengistu G. EVALUATION OF THE ANTI-DIARRHEAL ACTIVITY OF THE AQUEOUS STEM EXTRACT OF LANTANA CAMARA LINN (VERBENACEAE) IN MICE. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 4 April 2017;17(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-1696-1

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