Background: Constipation is a common, predominant, chronic gastrointestinal functional
disorder. The drugs available to treat constipation are limited because of their side effects for
long term use. Therefore, we need effective drug to treat constipation. Sapindus emarginatus Vahl
belongs to the family Sapindaceae, commonly known as soapnut. It is traditionally used as an antipruritic,
antifertility, laxative, and anti-inflammatory agent.
Objective: The present study was conducted to evaluate the laxative activity of hydroethanolic pericarp
extract of Sapindus emarginatus (HESE) in animal models.
Methods: The saponin content in the extract was measured by the gravimetric analysis. The laxative
activity of hydroethanolic pericarp extract of Sapindus emarginatus was evaluated by the
weight of feces matter, charcoal meal hyperperistalsis test, and loperamide induced constipation
Results: The saponin content of the soapnut pericarp was 13.48% and the extract was found to be
11.92%. The results obtained from these models showed a significant dose-dependent increase in
fecal weight, peristalsis index, and moisture content compared to control animals.
Conclusion: The present study concluded that the oral administration of HESE showed a significant
laxative activity in different animal models. The presence of triterpene saponins is supposed to
be responsible for this activity. Further studies are needed to confirm their mechanism behind the
laxative effect. The administration of the extract was found to be effective in constipation therapy.