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Open Access Research article

Evaluation of the diuretic activity of the aqueous and 80% methanol extracts of Ajuga remota Benth (Lamiaceae) leaves in mice

Wubshet Hailu and Ephrem Engidawork*

Author Affiliations

Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 1176, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:135  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-135

Published: 10 April 2014

Abstract

Background

In the Ethiopian traditional medicine, the leaves of Ajuga remota B. (Local name, Armagusa) is used in the treatment of hypertension. Since this claim has not been investigated scientifically, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the diuretic potential of the aqueous and 80% methanol extracts of the leaves of Ajuga remota in mice after acute oral administration.

Methods

Adult mice were administered orally either aqueous (250 mg/kg, AA250; 500 mg/kg, AA500 and 1000 mg/kg, AA1000) or 80% methanol (250 mg/kg, AM250; 500 mg/kg, AM500 and 750 mg/kg, AM750) extract. Urine output and electrolyte contents were then quantified up to 5 h and compared with those administered with furosemide 10 mg/kg (F10) and distilled water (CON).

Results

The larger dose of 80% methanol extract produced significant diuresis (p < 0.01), while the aqueous extract had shown diuresis both at the middle (p < 0.01) and higher (p < 0.01) doses by the end of the fifth hour compared to CON mice. Regarding electrolyte excretion, larger doses of both extracts had increased natriuresis (p < 0.001 for AA1000 and p < 0.01 for AM1000), while the effect on kaliuresis were smaller when compared with the standard, suggesting the plant could possibly have a potassium-sparing effect. Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of secondary metabolites like phenolic compounds, tannins, saponins, flavonoids, terpenoids, steroids, and cardiac glycosides, which might account for the diuretic activity.

Conclusions

The results indicate that the plant is endowed with significant diuretic activity at various doses, providing evidence for its folkloric use. The major components like flavonoids, tannins, terpenoids and alkaloids found in the plant might have contributed to the observed diuretic activity.

Keywords:
Furosemide; Diuretics; Ajuga remota; Natriuresis; Kaliuresis