ANTIDIARRHOEAL EFFECT OF UNRIPE Musa paradisiacae PULP AND PEEL HOMOGENATES ON CASTOR OIL-INDUCED DIARRHOEA IN WISTAR ALBINO RATS
Musa paradisiacae commonly known as plantain is a rhizomatous perennial crop used as a source of starchy staple for millions of people in Nigeria. Different parts of the plant have been used in the treatment of various ailments and there are claims that it has antidiarrhoeal activity. This study is therefore aimed at determining the effects of unripe Musa paradisiacae pulp and peel homogenates on castor oil-induced diarrhoea in Wistar albino rats. The qualitative phytochemical constituents of Musa paradisiacae pulp and peel were found to be flavonoids, saponins, soluble carbohydrates, tannins, reducing sugars, hydrogen cyanide, steroids, alkaloids, and glycosides. The LD50 results showed no toxicity up to 5000 mg/kg body weight. Rats were divided into 7 groups of 4 rats each. The groups were pre-treated as follows: group 1: normal saline (control); group 2: 3 mg/kg lomotil (standard drug); groups 3 and 4: 200 and 400 mg/kg unripe Musa paradisiacae pulp homogenates respectively; groups 5 and 6: 200 and 400mg/kg unripe Musa paradisiacae peel homogenates respectively; group 7: combination of unripe Musa paradisiacae pulp and peel homogenates (200/400 mg/kg respectively). After the treatments, diarrhoea was induced using castor oil. Relative to the control group 1, the treatment groups 2-7 inhibited castor oil-induced frequency of defecation and wetness of stool dose dependently but non-significantly (p>0.05). Both the pulp and peel homogenates produced non-significant decreases (p>0.05) in the distances travelled by the charcoal meal (marker) in castor oil-induced diarrhoea rats compared to the control group 1. Pre-treatment of the rats with unripe Musa paradisiacae pulp and peel homogenates decreased significantly (p<0.05) renteropooling indicated by decreases in the volume and weight of the gastro-intestinal contents relative to the control group 1. Treatment with the unripe Musa paradisiacae pulp and peel homogenates led to significant decreases (p<0.05) in the bicarbonate ion concentrations except in group 3 rats while the potassium ion concentrations increased significantly (p<0.05) in all the groups except in groups 3, 4 and 7 rats which showed non-significant decreases (p>0.05) compared to the control group 1. Sodium ion concentrations of the pre-treated groups increased non-significantly (p>0.05) except in groups 4 and 7 rats which decreased non-significantly (p>0.05) relative to the control group 1.Using everted rat intestines, the pulp and peel homogenates enhanced significant (p<0.05) influx of sodium ions into the everted sacs (serosal) and significant (p<0.05) efflux of potassium ions out of the sacs (mucosal) in relation to the control group 1. These findings reveal that unripe Musa paradisiacae pulp and peel exhibit antidiarrhoeal properties by inhibiting gastro-intestinal motility, enteropooling, wetness and frequency of defecation. They have also shown abilities to facilitate transport of electrolytes across the small intestinal membrane.