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Javeria Arif
Nuzhat Sultana
Rabail Urooj
Rida Arif


Convolvulaceae, Constipation, Laxative, Animal Model, Medicinal plant, Convolvulus spinosus


Convolvulus spinosus Burm.f. (C. spinosus) is a woody shrub and is traditionally used in Pakistan for its laxative virtue in indigenous culture. Despite the usage of C. spinosus by traditional healers and local communities for the management of constipation, it lacks scientific evidence for its claimed traditional use. The aim of the study is to evaluate the laxative effect of 70% ethanolic extract of C. spinosus in mice. The laxative potential of 70% ethanolic extract of C. spinosus (100/200 and 400 mg/kg P.O.) was evaluated and analyzed for the mean number of fecal pellets, percentage of fecal pellet water content (laxative test), and gastrointestinal transit ratio by charcoal meal movement in the small intestine in the Loperamide-induced constipated mice model, and intestinal fluid accumulation in normal mice. The phytochemical screening and ATR-FTIR analysis of C. spinosus 70% ethanolic extract were performed. The laxative test demonstrated that C. spinosus 70% ethanolic extract indicated a significant increase in both the number of fecal pellets at 200 mg/kg (p<.05) and 400 mg/kg (p =.0001), the percent fecal water content at 100 mg/kg (p<.0001), 200 mg/kg (p<.0001) and 400 mg/kg (p<.0001) in loperamide-induced constipated mice model. The gastrointestinal motility test of C. spinosus 70% ethanolic extract showed significant accelerated propulsion of charcoal meal in loperamide-induced constipated mice and produced a significant increase in Gastrointestinal (GI) transit ratio at 100 mg/kg (p<.05), 200 mg/kg (p<.0001) and 400 mg/kg (p<.0001). The findings of the Gastrointestinal secretion test presented that C. spinosus extract produced significantly higher fluid accumulation at 200 mg/kg (p <0.05) and 400 mg/kg (p<0.0001). The phytochemical screening of C. spinosus extract showed the presence of tannins, alkaloids, terpenoids, and flavonoids. This study provides scientific evidence for the traditional use of C. spinosus for the treatment of constipation and highlights the need for the identification of biologically active compound(s).

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