Desmodium canescens (L) DC (Fabaeceae) is used by the Chagga tribe of Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania to treat peptic ulcers. This study aimed to evaluate the anti-ulcer potential of the ethanol extract of the aerial part of the plant. The extract was prepared by placing the plant materials in a glass percolator with 80% ethanol and allowed to stand at room temperature for 24 hours. The percolate was collected, filtered and concentrated by using a rotary evaporator at the temperature of 40°C. The extract so obtained was weighed and the yield was 14%. The toxicity of the extract was evaluated in mice and was found to be non toxic up to 5000mg/kg without any death. Phytochemical screening showed that, the 80% ethanol extract contains saponins, tannins, terpenoids, flavanoids and alkaloids. For evaluation of anti-ulcer activity, the crude ethanol extract of DC was orally administered to rats one hour before ulcer induction. The 80% ethanol extract of DC showed protection against aspirin induced gastric ulceration. The extract protected the rat stomach from ulceration by 76%, 94%, 96% at doses of (200, 350 and 600) mg/kg respectively (P≤0.001), as compared to solvent treated rats. Ranitidine, the histamine blocker, 30mg/kg protected the rat stomach by 100%. Pathological analysis of the rat stomach treated by DC extract showed that, there was increased protection of the epithelium lining of the rat stomach with increasing dose of the extract (protection in dose response manner). The results support the use of DC as a herbal medicine for peptic ulcers. The group of compounds found in the extract may have contributed to its anti-ulcer potential.
Journal of Advanced Scientific Research
Walter Macha, Amos R. Mwakigonja*, Pax J. Masimba, Francis Machumi
Institute of Traditional Medicine, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania