Garcinia buchananii bark extract is an effective anti-diarrheal remedy for lactose-induced diarrhea

Paul Boakye, Stuart Brierley, Sofie P. Pasilis, Onesmo Balemba

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Ethnopharmacological relevance: The extract from the stem bark of Garcinia buchananii trees is used as an anti-diarrhea remedy in sub-Saharan Africa. We tested the hypothesis that G. buchananii bark extract and its anti-motility fractions are effective treatments against lactose-induced diarrhea. Materials and methods: A high-lactose (35%) diet was used to induce diarrhea in Wistar rats, which were then treated with either G. buchananii bark extract (0.1, 0.5, 1.0 and 5.0 g bark powder), and its anti-motility fractions isolated using preparative thin layer chromatography; termed PTLC1 (15 mg) and PTLC5 (3.8 mg) or loperamide (8.4 mg). Drug preparations were dissolved in 1 L except PTCL1 and PTLC5 that were dissolved in 100 mL tap water. Numerous parameters were measured in each condition including consistency, fluid and mucus content of feces, body weight, water and food consumption, urine production and bloating. Results: Diarrheic rats produced watery or loose, mucuoid, sticky, feces. Fluids constituted 86% of stool mass compared with only 42% for control rats fed standard chow. Compared with controls, diarrheic rats produced more urine, lost weight and had bloated ceca and colons. All doses of the extract, its anti-motility fractions and loperamide individually stopped diarrhea within 6-24 h of administration, whilst significantly reducing mucus and fecal fluid content, urine production and intestinal bloating. Rats treated with 0.1 g extract, PTLC1 and PTLC5 gained weight, whilst PTLC5 also increased water intake. Conclusions: Garcinia buchananii extract and its anti-motility fractions are effective remedies against lactose-induced diarrhea. The extract contains compounds that reverse weight loss, promote food and water intake, supporting the notion that characterization of the compounds could lead to new therapies against diarrheal diseases.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)539-547
    Number of pages9
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2012


    • Intestinal motility
    • Intestinal secretion
    • Plant extracts
    • Traditional medicine


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