Materials and Methods: Acute toxicity evaluation of the aqueous extract of B. coccineus root bark was performed in exposed rats. Diarrhea was induced in exposed rats with castor oil, and the effect of the extract on castor oil-induced gastrointestinal motility and enteropooling was consequently investigated.
Results: In the acute toxicity study, the extract caused no death in treated rats nor produced signs of delayed toxicity, even at 5000 mg/kg. The aqueous root bark extract of B. coccineus also decreased the distance travelled by activated charcoal in the gastrointestinal tract of treated rats when compared to control rats. Results of castor oil-induced enteropooling revealed slight reduction in the weight of intestinal contents of treated rats compared to control rats. There was significant (p<0.05) decrease in the frequency of defecation as well as in the number of unformed feces produced by castor oil-induced diarrhea at 100 mg/kg dose with 74.96% inhibition of defecation.
Conclusion: The study demonstrated the anti-diarrheic property of the aqueous extract of B. coccineus root bark as currently exploited in our traditional herbal therapy.
Keywords: Byrsocarpus coccineus, castor oil, diarrhea, enteropooling.