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Cassia fistula (CF) is known as Aragvadha (disease killer) in Ayurvedic classics and its sun-dried (SD) fruit pulp has been advocated for the treatment of constipation, fever, leprosy, diabetes, intestinal disorders and wounds. Present study includes the evaluation of SD and non-sun dried (NSD) fruit pulp of CF for purgative action in rat and acute toxicity in mouse. Aqueous suspension of SD and NSD were administered orally 60 min before experiment in rats and SD just before toxicity study in mice. Both SD and NSD in the dose of 1.0 g/kg showed an increase in the number of defecations and fecal output during 4 hour after treatment but stool was semisolid with SD and semisolid and watery with NSD. Both SD and NSD treated rats showed increase in the intestinal intraluminal fluid (ILF) accumulation and motility but the accumulation of ILF was less marked in SD group compared to NSD group. The stimulatory effect of SD on ILF accumulation and intestinal motility could be due to its predominant action on NO formation as only L-NAME a NOS inhibitor blocked both ILF accumulation and intestinal motility per se and in SD-treated rats while atropine (anti-cholinergic), loperamide (μ and k receptor inhibitor) and indomethacin (PGs synthesis blocker) partially blocked them. 10 g/kg oral dose (10 times of optimal effective dose) of SD did not show any acute toxic effect in mice. The result confirms the indigenous use of sun-dried fruit pulp of C. fistula in constipation.


Cassia fistula, Purgative, Nitric Oxide, PGs, Opioids, Cholinergic
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