Indexed on: 19 Mar '14Published on: 19 Mar '14Published in: Pharmaceutical biology
Justicia hypocrateriformis Vahl (Acanthaceae) is used as an herbal remedy for diarrhea in Cameroon folk medicine.This study evaluates the antidiarrheal and antioxidant properties of the aqueous extract of J. hypocrateriformis (JH).Preliminary phytochemical screening and an acute toxicity testing of the extract were carried out. The antidiarrheal activity of JH extract (100, 250, and 500 mg/kg) was assessed at curative and preventive levels in castor oil-induced diarrhea in mice. The antioxidant activity was measured by ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), total phenolic content, and radical scavenging activity.A high lethal dose (LD50) of 14.35 g/kg obtained in acute toxicity implies the extract is not toxic. Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of phenols, tannins, flavonoids, saponins, anthraquinones, and anthocyanins. JH showed a significant protection against castor oil-induced diarrhea as evidenced by a decrease in the number of defecation and wet stool. JH (100-500 mg/kg, p.o.) produced a non-significant dose-dependent decrease in castor oil-induced intestinal transit in the preventive study. In the curative and in healthy mice study, the decrease was only significant at 500 mg/kg. JH possessed a radical scavenging activity with an IC50 of 9.93 mg/ml compared to 4.90 mg/ml for catechin. JH FRAP of 2703.77 ± 0 mg/g (catechin equiv) and phenolic concentration of 14 169.99 ± 612.39 mg/g (catechin equiv) were also obtained.Justicia hypocrateriformis extract possesses antidiarrheal activity supported by its antioxidant potential and phytochemical constituents.