The Combination of Cassia Obtusifolia L. And Foeniculum Vulgare M. Exhibits a Laxative Effect on Loperamide-Induced Constipation of Rats

PLoS One. 2018 Apr 5;13(4):e0195624. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0195624. eCollection 2018.


Chronic constipation is a functional gastrointestinal disease that is detrimental to the quality of patient life. Cassia obtusifolia L. (CO) and Foeniculum vulgare M. (FV) are commonly used as medicinal foods in many countries. We aimed to examine the laxative effect and their underlying mechanism of CO and FV mixture on loperamide (lop)-induced constipated rats. To determine the laxative effects of these compounds, Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into six groups: the control, lop-induced constipated (2mg/kg), and three doses (100, 300, and 500mg/kg) of CO and FV mixture-, and Bisacodyl (bis, 3.3mg/kg)-treated groups. The mixture of CO and FV and bis were orally administered once a day for 4 weeks. For induction of constipation, the lop were treated with a dose of 2 mg/kg twice a day on the 3rd week after treatments of CO and FV extracts and bis. The results were revealed that the CO and FV mixture has the laxative effects more than those in CO and FV-alone treatments on constipated rats by determining the stool parameters, including stool number and weight. Indeed, stool parameters, such as, stool number, weight, and water contents and colonic peristalsis from the intestinal transit length and ratio were dramatically improved by CO and FV mixture treatment. Histological study also revealed that CO and FV mixture enhanced the thicknesses of mucosa and muscular layers of the colon in constipated rats. For their underlying mechanism, the mRNAs and proteins expression of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAchR) M2 and M3 and their downstream signaling were preserved by CO and FV mixture treatment in constipated rats. Therefore, this study suggests that treatment with CO and FV mixture has beneficial effects against constipation. We further suggest that CO and FV mixture may be utilized as an alternative therapeutic strategy for constipation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cassia*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Colon / drug effects
  • Colon / pathology
  • Colon / physiopathology
  • Constipation / drug therapy*
  • Constipation / pathology
  • Constipation / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Foeniculum*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / physiopathology
  • Laxatives / pharmacology*
  • Loperamide
  • Male
  • Peristalsis / drug effects
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Muscarinic / metabolism
  • Seeds
  • Water / analysis


  • Laxatives
  • Plant Extracts
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Muscarinic
  • Water
  • Loperamide

Grant support

This research was supported by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE), Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) through the Encouragement Program for The Industries of Economic Cooperation Region. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. There was no additional external funding received for this study. TEAZEN Inc. provided support in the form of salaries for author SHJ, but did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The specific role of this author is articulated in the ‘author contributions’ section.