Gastric, duodenal and peptic ulcers are collectively ranked as one of the causes of deaths in the country. Management of these diseases comes at a high cost. The researchers explored the use of indigenous narra (Pterocarpus indicus Will.) as a low cost alternative to other expensive medications. This study aimed to determine the presence and degree of ulcerations in Indomethacin- induced gastric ulcers in male albino rats after treatment with either narra leaf decoction or sucralfate. It also aimed to compare the anti-ulcer effects of different dosages of narra leaf decoction with that of sucralfate.
Twenty-five male rats weighting 115-200 grams were randomly divided into five groups. Gastric ulcers were induced by orally administering 30 mg/kg body weight (BW) of Indomethacin in all rats. Treatments were divided as follows: Negative control (NSS) - 10 mg/kg B W normal saline solution; positive control (SUC) -I g/kg BW sucralfate; arra group 1 (Nl ) - 3.94 g/kg BW narra leaf decoction; Narra group 2 (N2)- 9.89 g/kg BW narra leaf decoction; and, Narra group 3 (N3)- 24.84 g/kg BW narra leaf decoction. All treatments were administered using oral gavage and were repeated at intervals of 24 hours for three days. Six hours after the last administration of treatment, the rats were sacrificed and their stomachs excised. Gross analysis was done using the Best's Ulcer Staging Index while histopathological analysis was performed according to the presence and degree of ulcers and hemorrhage. Results were analyzed using Kruskal- Wallis Test for one-way ANOVA.
On gross analysis, ulcers and hemorrhages were seen in some of the rat stomachs but the difference in the effects of the treatments on the different groups was not statistically significant. On histopathological analysis, ulcers and hemorrhages were evident in the NSS group but were not noted in the SUC group. The difference between the SUC and NSS groups was statistically significant. Histopathologic studies also showed the following: 2/5 rats had ulcers in Narra group I; 2/5 in Narra group 2; and, none in Narra group 3 (but all of these rats died before the end of the experiment). However, histopathological differences among the treatment groups were not statistically significant.
These findings suggest that narra may have anti-ulcer effects. It is recommended that a dosage higher than 24.84 g/kg BW (the highest narra dosage administered for three days in this experiment) be used in further experiments. The duration of exposure to the drug should also be lengthened.