Diarrheal diseases are among the leading causes of illness and death of children and HIV/AIDS patients and a major symptom of stress. There is wide range of the causative agents, and cellular mechanisms leading to the development of the symptoms of diarrhea are complexity and diverse. Therefore, the effective treatment of diarrheal diseases requires more than one drug in order to alleviate the symptoms of increased motility, secretion and abdominal pain; to eliminate the etiological agent(s) and to treat the associated inflammation. There is need for new theraputic agents especially drugs that reduce enteric neurotransmission, which is the main factor underlying increased bowel movements and abdominal discomfort/pain.
Herbal extracts have been used for thousands of years to treat diarrhea, and still are widely used to treat diarrheal diseases. We are investigating the efficacy of extracts from the bark of Garcinia buchananii as anti-diarrheal folk remedy of diarrheal disease, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic activities effects. The long-term goal is to conduct thorough scientific investigations of the efficacy and safety of the extracts; isolate the bioactive components; and determine cellular mechanisms underlying actions related to anti-diarrhea, pain and inflammatory activity; and promote the use of extracts as an affordable natural herbal drug to treat diarrhea and associated pain and inflammation.