Digestive stimulant action of three Indian spice mixes in experimental rats

Nahrung. 2002 Dec;46(6):394-8. doi: 10.1002/1521-3803(20021101)46:6<394::AID-FOOD394>3.0.CO;2-D.


The present study examined the favourable influence of three spice mixes derived from a few commonly consumed spices of known digestive stimulant action on digestive enzymes of pancreas and small intestine, and on bile secretion and composition in experimental rats. The common ingredients of these mixes were coriander, turmeric, red chilli, black pepper and cumin, while the spice mix II additionally had ginger, and spice mix III contained onion. All the three spice mixes favourably enhanced the activities of pancreatic lipase, chymotrypsin and amylase when consumed during the diet. In addition, these spice mixes brought about a pronounced stimulation of bile flow and of bile acid secretion. Among the three spice mixes examined, spice mix III which is customized so as to include spices that are desirable from the point of view of stimulation of digestion, had the highest stimulatory influence particularly on bile secretion, bile acid output and the activities of pancreatic enzymes. While activities of pancreatic lipase, amylase and chymotrypsin were elevated by 40, 16 and 77%, respectively, the bile volume as well as the bile acid secretion were almost doubled in spice mix III treatment. The higher secretion of bile especially with an elevated level of bile acids and a beneficial stimulation of pancreatic digestive enzymes, particularly of lipase could probably be the two mechanisms by which these combinations of spices aid in digestion.

MeSH terms

  • Amylases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Bile / drug effects*
  • Bile / metabolism
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Chymotrypsin / metabolism
  • Digestion / drug effects*
  • Digestive System / drug effects*
  • Digestive System / enzymology
  • Drug Synergism
  • Female
  • Pancreas / drug effects*
  • Pancreas / enzymology
  • Pancrelipase / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spices*


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Pancrelipase
  • Amylases
  • Chymotrypsin