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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 309390, 10 pages
Research Article

In Vivo Effects of Cagaita (Eugenia dysenterica, DC.) Leaf Extracts on Diarrhea Treatment

1Centro de Análises Proteômicas e Bioquímicas, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Genômicas e Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica de Brasília, SGAN Quadra 916, Modulo B, Avenue W5, 70 790-160 Brasília, DF, Brazil
2Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Biológicas (Imunologia/Genética e biotecnologia), Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, 36036-330 Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil
3Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia, Laboratório de Espectrometria de Massa e Laboratório de Interação Molecular Planta-Praga, PqEB, Avenue W5 Norte, 70770-900 Brasília-DF, Brazil
4Universidade de Brasília, Campus Universitário de Planaltina Vila Nossa Senhora de Fátima, 73300-000 Brasília, DF, Brazil

Received 5 May 2010; Accepted 1 July 2010

Copyright © 2011 T. B. Lima et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Eugenia dysenterica is a plant typically found in the Cerrado biome and commonly used in popular medicine due to its pharmacological properties, which include antidiarrheal, skin healing, and antimicrobial activities. The effects of ethanolic extract, aqueous extract and infusion of E. dysenterica leaves on intestinal motility and antidiarrheal activity were evaluated using ricin oil-induced diarrhea in rats. At doses of 400 and 800 mg⋅Kg1, the ethanolic extract decreased intestinal motility while the other extracts showed no significant effects. Moreover, serum levels of chloride, magnesium, and phosphorus were also measured in rats. Histopathologic and enzymatic analyses were also performed to investigate any toxic effect. Animals treated with infusion, ethanolic extract, ricin oil, and loperamide presented morphological alterations in the small intestine, such as mucosa lesion, epithelial layer damage, and partial loss and/or morphological change of villi. Furthermore, the liver showed congestion and hydropic degeneration. Serum levels of alanine aminotransferase increased significantly in all treatments, but none rose above reference values. In summary, our results suggest that compounds present in leaves of E. dysenterica may have therapeutic benefits on recovery from diarrhea despite their toxic effects.