Bao-Xie-Ning (BXN), a traditional Chinese herbal medicine (CHMformula composed of Fructus Evodiae, Flos Caryophylli and Cortex Cinnamomi, and used for the treatment of infant diarrheal illness, was subject to systematic assessment for its putative multiple pharmacodynamic effects and pharmacological antidiarrheal mechanisms.


High-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detector-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometric/mass spectrometry was developed and validated for identification and quantification of the main constituents in different extracts of BXN. Male Kunming mice weighing 20 to 25 g were used for detecting the antidiarrheal activity of the extracts. Ethanolic extract (EE), volatile oil extract (VOE), and aqueous extract (AE) of BXN were respectively subjected to pharmacodynamic and pharmacological comparison in assessing antidiarrheal effects with senna-induced diarrhea, castor oil-induced diarrhea, acetic acid-induced writhing assay, and isolated duodenum test.


The highest yields of three detected components of BXN, rutaecarpine, eugenol and cinnamaldehyde were observed in EE. EE showed the most remarkable antidiarrheal activity in dose-dependent and time-dependent manners in both senna- and castor oil-induced diarrhea models, and presented dose-dependent analgesic activity in acetic acid-induced algesthesia model. In addition, EE extract of BXN also exhibited strong antimobility action on the intestine and strongest depression on spontaneous contraction of isolated duodenum.


Ethanol extraction is an efficient method to extract the active constituents of BXN. BXN extract demonstrated multiple pharmacological activities affecting the main mechanisms of diarrhea, which validated BXN's usage in the comprehensive clinical treatment of diarrhea.