Chimonanthus salicifolius S. Y. Hu (C. salicifolius) is a unique medicinal plant of Magnolia in China, it could inhibit pathogens and prevent flu, which has been extensively applied for drinking tea. The purpose of this study was to analyze the main components of ethyl acetate extract of C. salicifolius (EAECS) and explore the effect of extract on loperamide-induced constipation in mice. The mice with constipation induced by loperamide were given different concentrations of C. salicifolius extract once a day for 14 days. The constipation-related parameters, stool particles, the time of the first black stool defecation and gastrointestinal (GI) transit rate were determined. In addition, the change of abundance and diversity in intestinal microbiota were analyzed. The results indicated that the main components in EAECS were rutin, nicotiflorin, quercetin and kaempferol. After administration, EAECS treatment relieved loperamide-induced constipation in mice, as evidenced by reduced defecation time and significantly increased GI transit rate, fecal particles and water content. At genus level, the extract also remarkably reduced Ruminococcus and increased the abundance of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium in intestinal tract of mice (all p < 0.05). These findings indicated that EAECS effectively improved loperamide-induced constipation in mice and could be considered as a candidate treatment for constipation.
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