Decoction of Morinda Citrifolia L. Leaves as a Herbal Medicine. Experimental Pharmacology – Two Synergistic Combination Effects for One Therapy

Andreanus A. Soemardji, Joseph I. Sigit

Abstract


Morinda citrifolia L. belongs to the family of Rubiaceae and is known as "mengkudu" in Indonesia. The decoction of the leaf of Morinda citrifolia has been used traditionally as an anthelmintic and a laxative. In this research, these two activities of the decoction of "mengkudu" leaves were investigated in experimental pharmacology based on the traditional use of this herbal medicine.

The anthelmintic activity was tested by using Ascaris suum (an intestinal worm parasite) obtained from pig intestine and the laxative activity was investigated on male Swiss Webster mice. Both activities were compared with those of the reference medicines, piperazine citrate and istizin, respectively.

The results showed that a decoct of 20% "mengkudu" leaves in vitro could significantly paralyze 80% of Ascaris suum worms and in a dose of 25 ml/kg body-weight of mouse showed a significant laxative effect. These two activities support the use of "mengkudu" leaves in the therapy of worm parasites, as an anthelmintic to paralyse the worm and then to remove them from the intestine by its laxative effect. These two activities in one herbal medicine (Morinda citrifolia L. leaves) can be used for one therapy of worm infection.


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