Phytochemical screening and the effects of aqueous extracts of Phyllanthus amarus leaves on the lipid profile and cardiac muscle cyclic guanosine monophosphate of male Guinea pigs
Extracts of the leaves of Phyllanthus amarus Schumach. (Euphorbiaceae) are used as folk medicine for the treatment of jaundice and other diseases in Nigeria and other countries. Recently the extract is becoming popular for increasing and or improving libido and reproductive functions in men. The effects of the aqueous extracts of the leaves of Phyllanthus amarus on lipid profile and the cardiac muscle cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) in male Guinea pigs was investigated and compared to the effects of sildenafil citrate on the same parameters. The phytochemical screening was also carried out. The results showed that the administration of aqueous extract of the Phyllanthus amarus leaves to the animals (100, 200 and 400mg/kg body weight) caused a statistically non significant (p>0.05) increase in cholesterol, triacylglycerol, low density lipoprotein and high density lipoprotein level while the administration of 100mg/kg body weight of sildenafil citrate caused a non significant (p>0.05) decrease on lipid profile levels but a non significant increase in the level of triacylglycerol. However the administration of aqueous extract of Phyllanthus amarus (100 and 200mg/kg body weight caused a non significant (p>0.05) decrease in the level of cardiac cGMP, while the administration of 100mg/kg body weight of sildenafil citrate and 400mg/kg body of the aqueous extract cause a non significant increase p>0.05 in the levels of cGMP. Furthermore, the phytochemical screening of the leaves of Phyllanthus amarus revealed the presence of flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids, terpenoids, steroids, saponins and cardiac glycosides.