Article Abstract

Therapeutic effect of Momordica balsamina leaf extract on ethanol-induced gastric ulcer in Wistar rats

Authors: Hamman Stephen Mshelia, Yagana Karumi, Nathan Isaac Dibal


Background: Momordica balsamina (M. balsamina) is an important medicinal plant that is used as an antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory and in the treatment of wounds. Its therapeutic properties suggest its alternative use in the treatment of various ailments and illnesses.
Methods: Gastric ulceration was induced using 80% ethanol after a pilot study was done to identify which ulcer inducing agents would induce the most ulceration with minimal mortality in one hour. Thirty Wistar rats were divided into six groups of five rats each. Group 1 (control) was pretreated with normal saline, groups 2–5 were pretreated with 100, 200, 400, 800 mg/kg of M. balsamina extract, respectively, while group 6 was pretreated with 100 mg/kg ranitidine 1 h prior to administration of 80% ethanol. All the rats were sacrificed 1 h after the administration of 80% ethanol by cervical dislocation and the stomach were dissected, incised, washed and examined under dissecting microscope to assess the level of ulceration. Ulcerated and total areas of each stomach were measured in mm². The mean ulcer score, ulcer index and ulcer inhibition rate were calculated for each rat.
Results: There was a significant dose-dependent decrease in the mean ulcer score of rats pretreated with M. balsamina compared to that of controls at P<0.05, suggesting that the extract would be most effective in the prevention/treatment of ulcer at 800 mg/kg. There was a dose-dependent decrease in the ulcer index and a dose-dependent increase in the ulcer inhibition rate of rats pretreated with M. balsamina compared to the control at P<0.05, suggesting that the extract could be as effective as ranitidine in the prevention/treatment of ulcer in Wistar rats.
Conclusions: Aqueous extract of M. balsamina at 800 mg/kg could be subjected to further scientific research for use in the prevention/treatment of gastric ulcers in human beings since it was proven to be effective in Wistar rats.