The antidiarrhoeal effect of seven plant extracts namely: the aerial parts of Euphorbia paralias L. (EP), Bidens bipinnata L. (BB), Cynachum acutum L. (CyAc), Diplotaxis acris (Forssk.) Boiss (DA), Convolvulus fatmensis (CF) and Schouwia thebaica Webb (ST) and the leaves of Plantago major L. (PM), was evaluated on castor oil-induced diarrhoea, gastrointestinal movement in rats (charcoal meal) and on the motility of duodenum isolated from freshly slaughtered rabbits. A significant antidiarrhoeal effect of the tested plant extracts against castor oil-induced diarrhoea in rats was achieved by 200 and 400 mg/kg. The tested plant extracts decreased the gastrointestinal movement as indicated by the significantly (p<0.05 to 0.001) decreased distance travelled by the charcoal meal. The large dose of the tested plant extracts was slightly more effective than the small one. The antidiarrhoeal effect was confirmed by the reported dose dependent inhibition of the motility of duodenum isolated from freshly slaughtered rabbits. The EP and PM methanol extract produced a transient stimulation followed by inhibition in doses of less than 0.05 and 1.6 mg/kg, respectively. Higher concentrations caused rapid muscle relaxation. Tannins, flavonoids, unsaturated sterols/triterpenes, carbohydrates, lactones and proteins/amino acids were reported as major active constituents of the tested plants.
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