Laxative effect of bitter almond (Amygdalus communis var. amara)

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

2 Payame Noor University of Tehran


Thepossible laxative and prokinetic effects of bitter almond were studied: 1- two groups of 7 rats were gavaged with ethanol extract of bitter almond (500mg/kg) or placebo and the number of feces, fecal weight and its percentage of water were studied 18-24h thereafter. 2- Ethanol extract of bitter almond (125 or 250mg/ml), lactulose (as positive control) or placebo was randomly injected into jejuna segments in anesthetized rats (n=9). The volume of the fluid in each segment was measured after 1h. 3- Gastrointestinal (GI) transit time was studied in rats treated with the extract or placebo using phenol red. The rats were sacrificed at times 30min, 1, 2 and 4h. ethanol extract of bitter almond at 500mg/kg significantly increased fecal weight and water. It had no significant effects on the osmotic infiltration of fluid into the intestine or on the transit time of the contents in the GI tract. The current results suggest that bitter almond has a laxative effect that seems to be due to malabsorption of electrolytes and water via enterocytes.


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