The main objective of this study is to evaluate the gastroprotective activity of thePhyllanthus niruri leaf extract against ethanol-induced gastric mucosal injury in rats. Six groups of Wistar rats were pre-treated, respectively, with distilled water; omeprazole 20 mg/kg; and 250, 500, 750 and 1000 mg/kg P. niruri leaf extract 30 min before oral administration of absolute ethanol to generate gastric mucosal injury. After one hour later, the rats were sacrificed and the ulcer areas of the gastric walls were determined. Gross evaluation has revealed that the negative control rats exhibited severe mucosal injury, whereas, pre-treatment with P. nirurileaf extract resulted in significantly less gastric mucosal injury and flattening of the mucosal folds. Histological studies of the gastric wall revealed that negative control rats suffered very severe damage of gastric mucosa, along with edema and leucocytes infiltration of the submucosal layer compared to rats pre-treated with P. niruri leaf extract where there was marked gastric protection along with reduction or inhibition of edema and leucocytes infiltration of the submucosa. The present finding suggests that P. niruri leaf extract promotes ulcer protection as ascertained by the comparative decreases in ulcer areas, inhibition or reduction of edema and leukocyte infiltration of the submucosa.
Key words: Phyllanthus niruri, rat, gastroprotection, ulcer.
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