Corresponding Author:
B. V. Ghule]
Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Borgaon (Meghe), Wardha - 442 001, India. E-mail: [email protected]
Date of Submission 16 May 2006
Date of Revision 3 May 2007
Date of Acceptance 9 December 2007
Indian J Pharm Sci, 2007, 69 (6): 817-819  


Vacuum dried juice extract and methanol extract of the fruits of Lagenaria siceraria Mol. have been evaluated for its diuretic activity in albino rats. Different parameters viz. total urine volume (corrected for water intake during the test period), urine concentration of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and chloride have been evaluated. The rats treated with vacuum dried Lagenaria siceraria juice extract (LSJE) and Lagenaria siceraria methanol extract (LSME) (100-200 mg/kg; p.o. ) showed higher urine volume when compared to the respective control. Both LSJE and LSME have exhibited dose-dependent increase in the excretion of electrolytes when compared to control group. The elevated diuretic potential of LSFE and LSME was statistically significant ( P <0.05) and comparable to that of the standard diuretic agent furosemide (20 mg/kg; i.p.).


Lagenaria siceraria, fruit juice and methanol extracts, Electrolytes concentration, diuretic activity

The plant, Lagenaria siceraria (Mol.) Standl. (Family: Cucurbitaceae), known as bottle gourd, is a common fruit vegetable used throughout the India. Since time immemorial the fruit is used as diuretic, cardio-tonic, cardio-protective and nutritive agent. The fruit is also reported to have good source of vitamin B complex and choline along with fair source of vitamin C and β-carotene. It is also reported to contain cucurbitacins, fibers and polyphenols [1-4]. Two sterols namely campesterol and sitosterol have been identified and isolated from the petroleum ether fraction of methanol extract of L. siceraria fruits, which is reported to possess antihepatotoxic activity [5]. LS fruit has been reported to possess antioxidant activity [6], hypolipidemic and antihyperlipidemic effects in normocholesterolemic and triton-induced hyperlipidemic rats [7]. HPLC analysis of methanolic extract from plant shows the presence of ß avone-C glycosides [8]. Lagenin, a novel protein has been isolated from lyophilized extract of seeds [9].

Literature survey revealed that the plant extract has yet not been screened for its traditional diuretic activity in experimental animals. Therefore the present study was carried out to provide pharmacological evidence for the folklore medicinal consideration of fruit plant as diuretic.

L. siceraria fruits were collected from the local farms of Wardha District, Maharashtra in the month of October-November, the botanical authentication was done by the authority of Department of Botany, Nagpur University, Nagpur and voucher specimen is lodged in our research laboratory for the future reference.

The fresh and semi-riped fruits were cut into small pieces and fed to a juicer to collect the juice and the collected juice was filtered and vacuum dried to obtain the L. siceraria fruit juice extract (LSJE, yield: 18 % w/w). Also the fruits were sliced using a home slicer and the slices obtained were shade-dried, pulverized and passed through a 20 mesh sieve. The dried, coarsely powdered plant material was extracted with 90% methanol using a Soxhlet apparatus. The solvent was evaporated under vacuum which gave semisolid mass (23% w/w) with respect to the dried powder. The preliminary phytochemical screening was carried out to detect the chemical constituents of both fresh fruit juice extract as well as methanol extracts (LSME) which revealed the presence of steroids, saponins and polyphenols, carbohydrates, proteins. Both the extracts were stored in tight containers in dessicator.

Adult Wistar rats of either sex weighing 170-200 g were used for experiment. The animals were housed in standard metal cages provided with food and water ad libitum. The Institutional Animal Ethical Committee approved the experimental protocol. The method described by Lipschtiz et al [10] and Kavimani et al, [11] was employed for the evaluation of diuretic activity. The animals were divided into 6 groups (6 in each), were deprived and fasted of water for 18 h prior to experiment. On the day of experimentation, first two groups were administered with LSJE (100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg, p.o.). The 3rd and 4th groups were treated with LSME (100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg, p.o.), while 5th and 6th groups were treated with normal saline (control) and furosemide (20 mg/kg, i.p.), respectively. Immediately after administration, animals were placed in metabolic cages (2 per cage) specially designed to separate urine and fecal matter and kept at room temperature (25±0.50). During the period of study no food, water was made available to the animals. The total volume of urine was collected and measured from control, standard and extract treated groups up to 5 h of administration. The parameters monitored for the each individual rat were total urine volume (corrected for water intake during the test period and measured after 24 h of treatment) and urine concentration of Na+, K+ and Cl-. Na+ and K+ concentration were measured by ß ame photometry and Cl- concentration was estimated as NaCl by titration with silver nitrate solution (2.096 g/l) using one drop of 5% potassium chromate solution as indicator.

Diuretics relieve pulmonary congestion and peripheral edema. These agents are useful in reducing the syndrome of volume overload, including orthopnea and paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnoea. They decrease plasma volume and subsequently venous return to the heart (preload). This decreases cardiac workload, oxygen demand and plasma volume, thus decreasing blood pressure [12]. Thus, diuretics play an important role in hypertensive patients.

The LSJE and LSME were found to be active in renal system of rats. Dose-response studies showed the maximal activity at 200 mg/kg, p.o. by LSJE and LSME. The excretion of sodium, potassium and chloride has also been significantly increased. The results were compared with those of furosemide (20 mg/kg; i.p.) treated group. All the data are expressed as mean±SEM and analyzed by ANOVA followed by Dunnett′s t-test (n=6).

The results obtained in the study indicate that LSJE and LSME act as effective hypernatremic, hyerchloremic and hyperkalemic diuretics (increased Na+, K+ and Cl- excretion volume). Data indicate that both extracts in tested doses produced significant and dose-dependent diuretic activity and this observation supports the folklore consideration of this fruit as diuretic (Table 1).

  Measured parameters of experimental groups
Treatment (mg/kg, p.o.) Total urine volume (ml/24 h) Total Na+ (µ moles/kg) Total K Potassium+ (µ moles/kg) Total Cl- (µ moles/kg) Na+ to K+ ratio
Control (Saline) 18.70±0.34 89.30±2.24 83.00±2.36 689.27±0.82 1.070
Furosemide-20 42.40±0.21* 180.20±3.67* 160.20±3.34* 3103.17±0.68* 1.124
LSJE-100 20.20±0.36* 113.50±4.89* 120.67±4.19* 1368.20±0.17* 0.940
LSJE-200 25.30±0.92* 144.30±5.37* 140.18±6.45* 2384.33±0.41* 1.029
LSME-100 22.50±0.78* 107.12±2.43* 127.53±6.16* 1473.58±0.27* 0.839
LSME-200 27.10±0.58* 160.67±3.20* 152.00±5.21* 2569.00±0.47* 1.057

Table 1: Effects of lsje and lsme on excretory parameters