Anchomanes difformis (Araceae) is widely used in subsaharan Africa against, constipation, edema, high blood pressure and anuria. The present study is undertaken to investigate laxative and diuretic activities of aqueous and ethanol extracts in normal and constipated rats.
Method: Aqueous and ethanolic leaves and rhizome extracts were orally administered in rats at doses of 400 and 800 mg/kg. Castor oil (10 ml/kg) and furosemide (10 mg/kg) were used as positive control in laxative and diuretic studies respectively. The laxative and diuretic effects were determined by measuring latency time, frequency and total volume excreted respectively of feces and urine. The physical state of the feces was also examined.
Result: Extracts of the rhizome (400 and 800 mg/kg) showed highly significant differences on the latency, the frequency and the total quantities of urine and fecal excretion in normal and constipated rats. At 800 mg/kg these effects (*** p<0.001), are higher than castor oil (** p<0.01) and furosemide (** p<0.01). At doses of 400 (** p<0.5) and 800 mg/kg (** p<0.01) aqueous extract of the leaves showed significant differ ent on the total mass of feces, and on all other parameters of urinary excretion in normal rats. There is no direct or indirect effect of the extracts on the physical characteristics of fecal excretion. The highest diuretics index of furosemide and extracts from the rhizome and leaves are respectively 1.94; 2.35 and 1.74. Lipschitz gains Showed 120% and 90% of diuretic activity for the rhizome and the leaves extracts respectively. The chemical screening confirms the presence of several metabolites.
Conclusion: Anchomnes difformis has interesting laxative and diuretic effects related to its use in traditional medicine. Its laxative effect would be a mechanism that passes through a stimulation of intestinal motility. Its numerous metabolites explain these effects.