Schulzke JD, Andres S, Amasheh M, et al.
Anti-diarrheal mechanism of the traditional remedy Uzara via reduction of active chloride secretion.
PLoS One. 2011 Mar 30;6(3):e18107.
Free full text via PubMed Central.
Investigators from Charité, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, and Ulm University studied the effects on the human colon of the traditional remedy Uzara, a traditional African medicine that has been used to treat diarrhea in Europe for a century.
From the Introduction:
“Uzara originates from the root of the South African plant Xysmalobium undulatum (family Asclepiadaceae) which is also known as wild cotton, milk bush or bitterhout…. X. undulatum has been used internally and externally, as decoction or as root powder, in traditional African medicine. Treated symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea, afterbirth cramps, and headache, but also wounds and abscesses. In Germany, Uzara was introduced into the pharmaceutical market in 1911.”
The authors found that Uzara “exerts its antidiarrheal effects through [previously reported] inhibition of intestinal motility and also through effects on the intestinal epithelium via inhibition of active secretion.” They concluded that the data infer that Uzara is “suitable for treating secretory diarrhea caused e.g. by bacterial toxins as well as motility-related diarrhea, but may not be effective against chronic malabsorptive diarrhea” with possible exceptions yet to be studied.
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