Antidiarrheal activity of Laurus nobilis L. leaf extract in rats

J Med Food. 2012 Jan;15(1):51-7. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2011.1707. Epub 2011 Nov 14.


In Jordan, the leaves of Laurus nobilis (Family Lauraceae) have been used in folk medicine for the treatment of diarrhea, among other ailments. However, the ethnopharmacology of this plant needs to be scientifically validated. The present work was carried out to evaluate the scientific basis of the antidiarrheal effect of the aqueous extract of L. nobilis leaf. L. nobilis leaf extract significantly inhibited castor oil-induced diarrhea (effective concentration producing 50% of the maximum response [EC(50)]=150±6.4 mg/kg) and reduced castor oil-induced enteropooling in rats (EC(50)=162±5.9 mg/kg). The extract also significantly inhibited intestinal transit of a charcoal meal and exerted a significant dose-dependent relaxation (EC(50)=71±5.3 mg/mL) on rat ileal smooth muscle. The aqueous extract tested positive for flavonoids, alkaloids, and tannins. These results established the efficacy of L. nobilis leaf aqueous extract as an antidiarrheal agent and are consistent with the popular use of the plant in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, particularly diarrhea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkaloids / analysis
  • Alkaloids / pharmacology
  • Alkaloids / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Antidiarrheals / analysis
  • Antidiarrheals / pharmacology
  • Antidiarrheals / therapeutic use*
  • Castor Oil
  • Charcoal / metabolism
  • Diarrhea / chemically induced
  • Diarrhea / drug therapy*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use
  • Gastrointestinal Transit / drug effects*
  • Ilium / drug effects
  • Laurus / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Smooth / drug effects*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Leaves
  • Rats
  • Tannins / analysis
  • Tannins / pharmacology
  • Tannins / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Alkaloids
  • Antidiarrheals
  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tannins
  • Charcoal
  • Castor Oil