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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 23, 2018

Antidiarrhoeal properties of Syzygium guineense leaf extract and identification of chemical constituents in its active column fractions

Ifeoma C. Ezenyi ORCID logo and John O. Igoli



Syzygium guineense (Myrtaceae) has been used in traditional medicine against various ailments, including diarrhoea. This study was conducted to scientifically evaluate the antidiarrheal effects of S. guineense extract and fractions.


An ethanol extract of S. guineense leaves was prepared and tested for its effect on small intestinal propulsion in mice and castor oil-induced fluid accumulation in rats. The extract was also evaluated for its effect on itopride-induced small intestine propulsion in mice. Column fractions were also investigated in rats and sub-fractions were tested for activity on spontaneous contractions of isolated rabbit jejunum.


The results showed that the extract significantly (p<0.05) inhibited intrinsic small intestinal propulsion and itopride-induced propulsive activity, similar to atropine (0.3 mg/kg) although its inhibitory effect against castor oil-induced intestinal fluid accumulation and diarrhoea was statistically insignificant (p>0.05). Column separation yielded 14 fractions, with three fractions producing significant (p<0.001) inhibition of small intestinal propulsion. Sub-fractions 1, 7 and 16 obtained from an active column fraction also exhibited relaxant effects on isolated rabbit jejunum. Spectral analysis (proton, 13C NMR) of sub-fractions 7 and 16 revealed the presence of betulinic acid, ursolic acid, oleanolic acid in 7 and a mixture of luteolin and friedelane-type triterpenes in 16.


These findings provide scientific evidence that S. guineense leaf extract possess antidiarrhoeal activity and may be potentially beneficial in treatment diarrhoeal disease. The identified compounds may also be implicated in its antidiarrhoeal effects.


The authors gratefully acknowledge S. Dzarma and A. Okore for their technical assistance.

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.

  6. Ethical Statement: All applicable institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed [16].


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Received: 2016-07-29
Accepted: 2018-08-25
Published Online: 2018-10-23

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