Pharmacognostic and Antidiarrhoea Activity of Leaves of Bauhinia Rufescens Lam (Caesalpinioideae)

Filed in Articles by on September 22, 2020

Pharmacognostic and Antidiarrhoea Activity of Leaves of Bauhinia Rufescens Lam (Caesalpinioideae).


Bauhinia rufescens Lam (Caesalpinioidae) is a scandent shrub or small tree measuring between 1-3m high but sometimes up to 8m high, often scraggy, stunted and multi- stemmed.

The leaves are stomachic, anti-diarrheotic and anti-dysentric. This study is on the pharmacognostic, phytochemical, antimicrobial and anti-diarrhoea (using castor oil induced dirrhoea method), studies of B. rufescens.

The microscopic studies revealed the presence of anomocytic both at the upper and lower layer, trichomes, calcium oxalate, petiole of 0.57mm, lamina of average length 7mm and width 9.8mm.

Quantitative evaluation of the crude plant drug revealed the following parameters, Alcohol soluble extractive of 30.1%, Percentage moisture content: 11%, Total ash value 0.66%, Water insoluble ash value of 6%, Alcohol soluble extractive value of 5.6%.

Chemo-microscopy revealed presence of Cellulose, Lignin, Starch, Tannins, Proteins, Mucilage and Calcium oxalate. Preliminary phytochemical studies of the methanolic extract revealed the presence of carbohydrates, saponins, tannins, alkaloids, cardiac glycoside and flavonoid.

The methanolic extract was found to be effective against castor oil induced diarrhea on the experimental rats at doses of; 50mg/kg (statistically significant (P<0.1) after one hour), 100mg/kg (statistical significance after one hour (P<0.05) and after two hours (P<0.02)), 200mg/kg (statistical significance after one hour (P<0.05) and after two hours (P<0.02)).


1.1 Background of Study

Humans have been concerned with plants through history. For thousands of years, he has used them for one purpose or the other.

Early humans recognised their dependence on nature in both health and illness (www.home-herb-

Led by instincts, tastes and experience, ancient men and women treated illness by using plants, animals parts and minerals that were not part of their usual diet.

One of the earliest records of the use of herbal medicine is that of chaulmoogra oil from species Hydnocarpus gaertn, which was known to be effective in the treatment of leprosy.

This information was recorded in the pharmacopoeia of the Emperor Shen Nung of China between 2730 and 3000 B.C. However it was not clear who was the discoverer of this medicinal use of the oil nor when it was discovered (LeStrange, 1972).

Similarly the seed of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L) and castor oil seed (Ricinus communis L) were excavated from some ancient Egyptian tombs, which indicated the use of traditional medicine in that part of Africa as far back as 1500 B.C. (Sofowora 2006).

Suffice to say that some 3000B.C., man was well aware of the medicinal properties (and probably toxic effects also) of some plants growing around him.


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