Bright Chima Megbo, Amos Meshack Samuel, Daniel Wuyang Dio



The growing need for safe and accessible drugs for various ailments in the third world countries have drawn scientific minds to evaluating scientific bases of the use of some plant materials in traditional medicines. Food substances are chief among these plant materials owing to their safety and nutritional benefits aside the purported medicinal claims. The main objectives of this study were to determine the proximate nutritional composition and the antidiarrheal activity of aqueous fruit extract of Phoenix dactylifera L. (date palm).

Methods: Antidiarrheal activity of the Phoenix dactylifera aqueous fruit extract was evaluated on castor oil induced diarrhea in male wistar rats using Loperamide (standard drug) as control. The proximate nutritional composition of the fruit was determined standard laboratory methods and the antinutritional factors in the fruit were determined using standard Spectrophotometric method.

Result: The result of the nutritional analysis revealed that the date fruit contain high carbohydrate content and relatively high crude ash content and low antinutrients concentration. Phytochemical screening of the aqueous fruit extract revealed the presence of saponins, tannins, glycosides, flavonoids and alkaloids. The acute toxicity test showed that the extract is practically non toxic. The antidiarrheal activity of the aqueous fruit extract was found significant (P < 0.05) at 1000mg/Kg and 2000mg/Kg body weight.

Conclusion: The result of this research showed that Phoenix dactylifera L. (date palm) fruit can be used as an effective nutraceutical in the management and treatment of diarrhea especially in the third world countries.

Key word: Phoenix dactylifera, Diarrhea, Loperamide, Antidiarrheal activity

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