Bauhinia purpurea is a medicinal plant commonly used traditionaly in the treatment of many ailments. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the protective effect of ethanolic extracts of B. purpurea ethanolic leaf extract (BPELE) against absolute ethanol-induced gastric mucosal damage in experimental rats. The rats were divided into four groups, respectively pre-treated orally with carboxymethyl cellulose solution (ulcer control groups), omeprazole 20 mg/kg (reference group), 250 and 500 mg/kg of BPELE (experimental groups) 1 h before oral administration of absolute ethanol to generate gastric mucosal damage. After an additional hour, the rats were sacrificed and the ulcer areas of the gastric walls were determined. The ulcer control group exhibited severe mucosal injury, whereas groups pre-treated with B. purpureaethanolic leaf extract exhibited significant protection of gastric mucosal damage. These findings were also confirmed by histology of gastric wall. Significant increases in gastric mucus production and decrease in acidity of gastric content were observed in treated groups with BPELE compare to ulcer control group. These results concluded that the treatment with BPELE prior to absolute alcohol has significantly protect gastric mucosa as ascertained grossly by significant reduction of ulcer area,increases in gastric mucus production and deecrease the acidity of gastric content and histology by comparatively decreases in gastric mucosal damage, reduction or absence of edema and leucocytes infiltration of submucosal layer compared to ulcer control group. BPELE was able to decrease the acidity and increase the mucosal defense in the gastric area thereby justifying its use as an antiulcerogenic agent.
Key words: Bauhinia purpurea, cytoprotection, gastric ulcer, mucosal defense, histology.
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