Context: Terminalia chebula Retz. (Combretaceae) is a medium-sized tree that grows in the wild throughout India. T. chebula has been extensively used in Ayurveda, Unani, and homoeopathic medicine. The fruit has been used as a traditional medicine for a household remedy against various human ailments. Traditionally T. chebula is used to cure chronic ulcer, gastritis, and stomach cancers.
Objective: The present study is to evaluate the antiulcer effect of hydroalcoholic (70%) extract of Terminalia chebula fruit.
Materials and methods: Aspirin, ethanol and cold restraint stress-induced ulcer methods in rats were used for the study. The effects of the extract on gastric secretions, pH, total and free acidity using pylorus ligated methods were also evaluated.
Results: Animals pretreated with doses of 200 and 500 mg/kg hydroalcoholic extract showed significant reduction in lesion index, total affected area and percentage of lesion in comparison with control group (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01) in the aspirin, ethanol and cold restraint stress-induced ulcer models. Similarly extracts increased mucus production in aspirin and ethanol-induced ulcer models. At doses of 200 and 500 mg/kg of T. chebula extract showed antisecretory activity in pylorus ligated model, which lead to a reduction in the gastric juice volume, free acidity, total acidity, and significantly increased gastric pH.
Discussion and conclusion: These findings indicate that hydroalcoholic extract of the fruit T. chebula displays potential antiulcerogenic activity. This activity thus lends pharmacological credence to the suggested use of the plant as a natural remedy in the treatment or management of ulcer.