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SCIENTISTS SPEAK ON HERBS FOR TREATING STOMACH ULCER

MORINGA oleifera might play as an adjunct to the existing drugs in the treatment of peptic ulcer.

Scientists in a study suggested that leaves of pawpaw, neem and moringa qualified as plants in the production of the drug to inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori, the germs that cause peptic ulcer.

Researchers, in a new study to find suitable alternative remedies from the plant for the treatment of peptic ulcer, had tested extracts of pawpaw, neem, and moringa on Helicobacter pylori isolated from ulcer patients. Their extracts had an antimicrobial effect on the H. pylori isolated from ulcer patients.

Moringa leaves showed some remarkable effect on H. pylori with the ethanolic extract of pawpaw being the most potent. The alcohol extract of these plants worked better than those made from ether and water.

It was in the 2019 edition of the International Journal of Biomedical Materials Research.

A peptic ulcer is an open sore in the upper digestive tract. There are two types of peptic ulcers, a gastric ulcer, which forms in the lining of the stomach, and a duodenal ulcer, which forms in the upper part of the small intestine. It can cause abdominal discomfort and pain.

The most common causes of peptic ulcers are infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and long-term use of aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Stress and spicy foods do not cause peptic ulcers. However, they can make the symptoms worse.

About 70 per cent of patients with peptic ulcer are infected by bacterium, H. pylori. Up to 60 per cent of peptic ulcers are associated with H. pylori infection of the stomach.

The last two decades have witnessed the introduction of a number of new drugs for the treatment of peptic ulcers. None of these drugs is free from toxicities. Efforts have also been made to find suitable alternative remedies from plant and animal origins for the treatment of peptic ulcer.

Traditionally, different parts of the pawpaw tree are used in the treatment of various ailments such as asthma, ulcers, eczema, diabetes, worm infections and fever.

In folk medicine, neem has been used in the treatment of microbial infections, skin diseases, dental disorders, malaria, syphilis and leprosy.

Moringa oleifera, commonly known as drumstick tree, is an exceptionally nutritious vegetable tree that has found its useful in the treatment of hypertension, anaemia as well as various bacterial, fungal and viral infections.

For the study, Morufu Adesina Bakare and Anthony Kayode Onifade at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, had isolated H. pylori from the stool of 355 suspected ulcer patients for the antibacterial susceptibility testing of the neem, moringa and pawpaw leave extracts.

In addition, their antibacterial effect at different concentrations was compared with Chloramphenicol, an antibiotic used to treat infections.

The researchers, however, said more studies are still required to look into crude extracts that can be used in the treatment of ulcer disease as well as the purification of these crude extracts for the development of new antibiotics to combat the infections caused by these resistant strains.

Meanwhile, scientists say that Irish potato tubers have high phytochemical content and possess antioxidant potential substantiating its use traditionally in the treatment of stomach ulcers.

The researchers also suggested that Irish potato tuber contains substantial amounts of iron, and as such might be a blood booster. In addition, it has a higher vitamin C content compared to vitamins A and E.

In the 2020 edition of the International Research Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, they had sought to evaluate the proximate, mineral, phytochemical, and vitamin contents, as well as the total antioxidant capacity of water extract of Irish potato tubers.

Irish potato (Solanum tuberosum) is an edible tuber. Its health benefits are thought to include its ability to improve digestion, reduce blood cholesterol, boost heart health, manage diabetes, strengthen the immune system, boost eye health, and reduce blood pressure.

Potatoes have a soothing effect on the stomach and the intestines. They are reported to be rich in B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, beta-carotene and potassium which are very effective in curing stomach ulcers.

Moreover, the roughage in potatoes prevents constipation and the resultant acid formation, thereby reducing the chances of ulcers. The anti-inflammatory and soothing properties of potatoes also reduce pain and inflammation associated with ulcers.

The result of the proximate analysis of water extract of Irish potato tuber indicates that it contains a high percentage of carbohydrate and crude fat, while crude protein is the least nutritional nutrient.

Magnesium was observed to be the dominant mineral in the extract, followed by sodium and iron respectively. The content of phenol and flavonoid were high in its extract, too.


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