Zelalem Hunegnaw, Gelayee Asmelashe, Zewdneh Shewamene Sabe
The seeds of Sorghum bicolor (Family: Poaceae) have been used traditionally for treatment of diarrhea but its efficacy needs to be evaluated. This study was carried out to evaluate the in vivo antidiarrheal activity of 80% methanol crude extract of the seeds of locally grown S.bicolor. This screening was conducted at 100mg/kg, 200mg/kg and 400mg/kg extract doses by using three standard methods of bioassay: castor oil-induced diarrhea, castor oil-induced enteropooling and castor oil-induced gastrointestinal transit tests. Depending on the model, data on the onset of defecation, number of wet feces, total number of feces, weight of intestinal fluid as well as length of intestinal transit were collected. In addition, preliminary phytochemical and acute toxicity studies were conducted. The presence of phenols, flavonoids, tannins, terpenoids and sterols in the extract was confirmed. On the other hand, the oral median lethal dose (LD50) of the extract was estimated to be higher than 2000mg/kg. The 200mg/kg and 400mg/kg extract doses especially demonstrated a very significant (P<0.01) inhibitory activity against castor oil-induced diarrhea, castor oil-induced enteropooling as well as castor oil-induced gastrointestinal transit. This study therefore demonstrated the presence of pharmacologic activity against diarrhea by the crude extract of S.bicolor and validates its antidiarrheal use in traditional medicine system. Mechanisms for antidiarheal activity may be partly inhibition of motility as well as secretion of the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, we suggest further studies on Sorghum bicolor in the search for better alternatives to the contemporary antidiarrheal drugs.
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