A traditional African medicine, Dutchman’s pipe is used to treat a variety of conditions, ranging from stomach problems to rheumatoid arthritis and insomnia. It’s even been used as a remedy to neutralize snakebite venom.
To test the plant’s ability in helping with diarrhea, Nigerian researchers induced diarrhea in rats by giving them a dose of castor oil. After administration of Dutchman’s pipe, there was a significant decrease in normal and castor oil-induced bowel movements compared to a control group. The plant extract also significantly increased the amount of time between bowel movements and reduced the overall diarrheal score. In fact, Dutchman’s pipe was comparable to morphine in its anti-diarrheal effect. The researchers attributed these effects to the presence of tannins, saponins, and alkaloids.
The research team concluded that a root extract of Aristolochia ringens possesses anti-diarrheal properties possibly triggered by its actions in the gastrointestinal system and its ability to positively affect the nervous system.
Often, diarrhea accompanies cold and flu symptoms. While not serious when short in duration, diarrhea can become a concern when it continues for more than a few days. Dehydration can set in, which can become dangerous for your health.
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Adevemi, O.O., et al., “The antidiarrhoeal activity of the aqueous root extract of Aristolochia ringens (Vahl.) Aristolochiaceae,” Nig Q J Hosp Med., January–March 2012; 22(1): 29–33.