The tuber of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Family-Araceae), commonly called suran or jimikand, has medicinal and food value. It is used in ethnomedicinal practices for correction of gastrointestinal disturbances such as constipation and hemorrhoids. The present study evaluated the effect of A. paeoniifolius tuber on gastrointestinal motor functions.
Materials and Methods:
The tuber was collected in December 2011, and its methanolic extract was standardized with the major phenolic compound, betulinic acid, by high-performance liquid chromatography. Rats were orally administered methanolic (APME) or aqueous (APAE) extract (250 and 500 mg/kg, each) of tuber for 7 days. Metoclopramide (MET) (3 mg/kg, orally) was used a reference prokinetic drug. The gastrointestinal parameters viz. number of feces, wet and dry weight and moisture content of feces, gastric emptying, and intestinal transit were evaluated. The isolated tissue preparations were used to check the effect of the extracts on fundus and intestinal contractility. The glucomannan and total phenolic and flavonoid contents were determined spectrophotometrically.
The pre-treatment of extracts significantly increased the number of feces, wet and dry weight of feces, moisture content, gastric emptying, and intestinal transit. Results were comparable to MET. Further, APME and APAE showed a contraction of fundus and ileum in isolated preparations. APME and APAE were also found to have fair amount of glucomannan, total phenolics, and flavonoids. The results indicate the gastrokinetic potential of the tuber extracts. This may be attributed to the presence of glucomannan and betulinic acid present in the extracts.
In conclusion, the tuber of A. paeoniifolius exhibits gastrokinetic activity and substantiates its traditional use in gastrointestinal motor disturbances.