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      Hot-water extract of the branches of Hovenia dulcis Thunb. (Rhamnaceae) ameliorates low-fiber diet-induced constipation in rats

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          Abstract

          Hovenia dulcis Thunb. (Rhamnaceae), also known as oriental raisin tree, is used in traditional herbal medicine. Its extracts have been reported to show various pharmacological effects such as hepatoprotection, antitumor, antiatopic dermatitis, antilipid peroxidation, anti-steatotic, anti-inflammatory, and antiallergic activities. However, there have been no reports on the effect of H. dulcis extracts in relieving constipation so far. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a hot-water extract of the branches of H. dulcis (WEHD) on low-fiber diet-induced constipation in Sprague Dawley rats. The in vivo laxative activity of WEHD was assessed by measuring the intestinal transit of charcoal meal and stool parameters. Furthermore, the in vitro spasmogenic activity of WEHD was evaluated by monitoring the temporal profiles of contraction of rat colon in the absence or presence of WEHD. In addition, constituent profiling was conducted using high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. Pretreatment with WEHD significantly enhanced the intestinal transit of charcoal meal and increased the frequency and weight of stools in rats. In addition, the frequency and amplitude of contractile responses of isolated rat colon were markedly enhanced by WEHD. Two organic phenolic acids, ferulic and vanillic acids, were identified in WEHD, of which vanillic acid exhibited spasmogenic activity. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report the laxative and spasmogenic activities of H. dulcis and its constituents, suggesting that WEHD can serve as a complementary and/or alternative laxative in alleviating chronic constipation.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Potential applications of ferulic acid from natural sources

          Ferulic acid (FA), a ubiquitous natural phenolic phytochemical present in seeds, leaves, bothin its free form and covalently conjugated to the plant cell wall polysaccharides, glycoproteins,polyamines, lignin and hydroxy fatty acids. FA plays a vital role in providing the rigidity to the cell wall and formation of other important organic compounds like coniferyl alcohol, vanillin, sinapic, diferulic acid and curcumin. FA exhibits wide variety of biological activities such as antioxidant, antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, antiallergic, hepatoprotective, anticarcinogenic, antithrombotic, increase sperm viability, antiviral and vasodilatory actions, metal chelation, modulation of enzyme activity, activation of transcriptional factors, gene expression and signal transduction.
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            Review article: therapeutic roles of acupuncture in functional gastrointestinal disorders.

             Dahua Chen,  H Ouyang (2004)
            Acupuncture has been practiced empirically in China for several millennia, and is being increasingly accepted by practitioners and patients worldwide. Functional gastrointestinal disorders are common in clinical gastroenterology. The prevalence of one or more functional gastrointestinal disorders is estimated to be as high as 70% in general population using Rome diagnostic criteria. Since functional gastrointestinal disorders are diagnosed based on symptoms and the exact aetiologies for most of functional gastrointestinal disorders are not completely known, it is not unusual that the treatment for these disorders is unsatisfactory and alternative therapies are attractive to both patients and practitioners. During the latest decades, a considerable number of studies have been performed on acupuncture for the treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders and underlying mechanisms. In this article, we reviewed available data in the literature on the applications and mechanisms of acupuncture for the treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders, including functional oesophageal disorders, nausea and vomiting, functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, etc. A summary is provided based on the quality and quantity of published studies regarding the efficacy of acupuncture in treating these various disorders. In addition, the methodology of acupuncture is also introduced.
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              Trends in ethnopharmocology.

              The use of plants, plant extracts or plant-derived pure chemicals to treat disease is a therapeutic modality, which has stood the test of time. Indeed today many pharmacological classes of drugs include a natural product prototype. Aspirin, atropine, ephedrine, digoxin, morphine, quinine, reserpine and tubocurarine are a few examples of drugs, which were originally discovered through the study of traditional cures and folk knowledge of indigenous people. There is a revival of interest in herbal products (botanicals) at a global level and the conventional medicine is now beginning to accept the use of botanicals once they are scientifically validated. Ispaghula, Garlic, Ginseng, Ginger, Ginkgo, St. John's Wort, and Saw palmetto are a few examples of botanicals which are gaining popularity amongst modern physicians and this trend is likely to continue partly due to high cost involved in the development of patentable chemical drugs. There is growing evidence to show that medicinal plants contain synergistic and/or side-effects neutralizing combinations. Ethnopharmacology has already played important role in the development of conventional medicine and is likely to play more significant role in the years to come. A team work amongst ethnobotanists, ethnopharmacologists, physicians and phytochemists is essential for the fruitful outcome on medicinal plants research. While the ethnopharmacologists have a greater role to play in the rationalization of combination of activities, the phytochemist's role will slightly shift towards standardization of botanicals.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2018
                03 April 2018
                : 12
                : 695-703
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Natural Medicine Research, Jeonnam Institute of Natural Resources Research, Jangheung-gun
                [2 ]Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy and Natural Medicine Research Institute, Mokpo National University, Muan-gun, Jeonnam
                [3 ]Department of Manufacturing Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Pusan National University, Geumjeong-gu, Busan, South Korea
                Author notes
                Correspondence: In-Soo Yoon, College of Pharmacy, Pusan National University, 2 Busandaehak-ro 63beon-gil, Geumjeong-gu, Busan 46241, South Korea, Tel +82 51 510 2806, Email insoo.yoon@ 123456pusan.ac.kr
                Seung-Sik Cho, Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Mokpo National University, 1666 Youngsan-ro, Muan-gun, Jeonnam 58554, South Korea, Tel +82 61 450 2687, Email sscho@ 123456mokpo.ac.kr
                Article
                dddt-12-695
                10.2147/DDDT.S150284
                5892967
                © 2018 Choi et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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