Laxative Effects of Agarwood on Low-Fiber Diet-Induced Constipation in Rats

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2010 Nov 15;10:68. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-10-68.

Abstract

Background: Agarwood (Aquilaria sinensis), well known as incense in Southeast Asia, has been used as a digestive in traditional medicine. We investigated the laxative effects of an ethanol extract of agarwood leaves (EEA) in a rat model of low-fiber diet-induced constipation.

Methods: A set of rats was bred on a normal diet while another set was placed on a low-fiber diet to induce constipation. The laxative effect of agarwood was then investigated on both sets of rats.

Results: Pretreatment of normal rats with single dose of EEA (600 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly increased frequency and weight of stools. Also, treatments with EEA (300 and 600 mg/kg, p.o.) for 14 days caused a significant increase in stool frequency and weight. Feeding of the animals with a low-fiber diet resulted in a decrease in stool weight, frequency, and water content and also delayed carmine egestion. A single treatment with EEA (600 mg/kg) or senna (150 and 300 mg/kg) significantly increased stool frequency, weight, and water content and also accelerated carmine egestion in the model rats. Once daily administrations of EEA (150 mg/kg), for 14 days, caused a significant increase in water content of stools. The higher doses of EEA (300 and 600 mg/kg) significantly increased frequency, weight, and water content of the stools while accelerating carmine egestion in the constipated rats. Senna (150 and 300 mg/kg) produced similar effect as the higher doses of EEA but, in addition, induced severe diarrhea.

Conclusion: These findings indicate that EEA has a laxative effect, without causing diarrhea, in a rat model of low-fiber diet-induced constipation. These findings suggest that EEA may be highly effective on constipation as a complementary medicine in humans suffering from life style-induced constipation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carmine / analysis
  • Constipation / drug therapy*
  • Constipation / etiology
  • Defecation / drug effects*
  • Diarrhea
  • Diet
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Laxatives / pharmacology
  • Laxatives / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Leaves
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Senna Plant*
  • Thymelaeaceae*
  • Water / analysis

Substances

  • Dietary Fiber
  • Laxatives
  • Plant Extracts
  • Water
  • Carmine