Emesis or vomiting is a means by which gastrointestinal tract gets rid of its content when the upper portion of the tract is excessively irritated, over-distended or even over-excited. A large amount of stomach contents is pushed upwards to flow back into the oesophagus, which then exits through the mouth or nose. Medicinal plants have been much widely employed, and they have proved reliable in the treatment of various diseases, as well as in the discovery of newer agents.
The plant, Chrysophyllum albidum (Linn), also known as African star apple, belongs to the family Sapotaceae. It is primarily a forest tree species with its natural occurrences in diverse ecozones in Uganda, Nigeria and Niger Republic (Bada, 1997). Across Nigeria, it is known by several local names and is generally regarded as a plant with diverse ethno-medicinal uses (Amusa et al., 2003). The plant is known as â€˜Agbalumoâ€™ in Yoruba.
The present aim was to evaluate antiemetic activities of Chrysophyllum albidum (in copper sulphate-induced emesis, cisplatin-induced emesis in chicks, as well as in ipecac-induced emesis in rats.
Both copper sulphate (50 mg/kg, orally) and cisplatin (10 mg/kg i.p) were administered to seven groups (n = 5) of chicks, while ipecac (0.03 ml orally) was used to induce emesis in rats (n = 4). Group 1 received distilled water (control), groups 2, 3, and 4 were given doses of C. albidum (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg, p.o), while groups 5, 6 and 7 were treated with standard antiemetic drugs (promethazine 25 mg/70kg, p.o; metoclopramide 50 mg/kg, i.p; and ondansetron 24 mg/70 kg, p.o). Emesis was induced thirty minutes later, and number of retching was counted for ten minutes. Chrysophyllum albidum at the doses employed showed significant (p<0.001) antiemetic when compared to the control and standard antiemetic drugs in all the models employed.
The findings in this study validate the folkloric use of the plant in treating emesis.