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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011. pii: 309390. doi: 10.1155/2011/309390. Epub 2010 Aug 30.

In Vivo Effects of Cagaita (Eugenia dysenterica, DC.) Leaf Extracts on Diarrhea Treatment.

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  • 1Centro de Análises Proteômicas e Bioquímicas, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Genômicas e Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica de Brasília, SGAN Quadra 916, Modulo B, Avenue W5, 70 790-160 Brasília, DF, Brazil.


Eugenia dysenterica is a plant typically found in the Cerrado biome and commonly used in popular medicine due to its pharmacological properties, which include antidiarrheal, skin healing, and antimicrobial activities. The effects of ethanolic extract, aqueous extract and infusion of E. dysenterica leaves on intestinal motility and antidiarrheal activity were evaluated using ricin oil-induced diarrhea in rats. At doses of 400 and 800 mg·Kg(-1), the ethanolic extract decreased intestinal motility while the other extracts showed no significant effects. Moreover, serum levels of chloride, magnesium, and phosphorus were also measured in rats. Histopathologic and enzymatic analyses were also performed to investigate any toxic effect. Animals treated with infusion, ethanolic extract, ricin oil, and loperamide presented morphological alterations in the small intestine, such as mucosa lesion, epithelial layer damage, and partial loss and/or morphological change of villi. Furthermore, the liver showed congestion and hydropic degeneration. Serum levels of alanine aminotransferase increased significantly in all treatments, but none rose above reference values. In summary, our results suggest that compounds present in leaves of E. dysenterica may have therapeutic benefits on recovery from diarrhea despite their toxic effects.

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