Evaluation of anti-fertility of Lawsonia inermis L. (Lythraceae) roots found in Kaduna State, Nigeria
Traditional contraceptive practices and use of medicinal plants is a common occurrence in Kaduna State, Nigeria . The use of Lawsonia inermis L. (Lythraceae) roots was evaluated for antifertility activity. Extraction of the plant root and phytochemical studies of the extract were carried out according to methods described Evans . Apparently healthy female and male Wistar rats were used. Pre-implantation and mating ratio using methods of Ambali et al.  were carried out. Determination of implantation sites was by method of Cavieres et al. , determination of Corpora Lutea was the method described by Armanda-Dias et al.  and the effects of extract on weight of the rats were also determined. It was observed that the extract effect on contractility of isolated rat uterus was less than oxytocin. There were loss of implantation sites and decrease in body weight. The number of implantation sites showed dose-response relationship significantly (P<=0.05) among the dose of extract and to standard drug (ethinyl estradiol). There was also significant (p<=0.05) difference observed in the number of corpora lutea in all experimental and control groups. Similarly, there was significant (p<=0.05) difference observed in all the experimental and control groups on percentage pre-implantation loss. Since extracts gave positive tests for steroids, and sex hormones being steroidal compounds, the plants' sterols (phytosterols) may be suspected to be responsible for the anti-fertility effects of the extract. The finding may explain the traditional use of the plant as antifertility agent
Acknowledgement: The authors appreciate the support of Dr. S. F. Ambali of the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.
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