Main Article Content
Bidens pilosa L. is an Asteraceae growing in tropical zones, and traditionally utilized worldwide in herbal medicine. The present work is based on its traditional use during child birth as a labour facilitator. In vivo tests of acute toxicity showed a weak toxic effect for both extracts but the toxicity of the ethanol extract (LD50=6.15g/kg) was upper than that of the aqueous extract (LD50=12.30g/kg). The three-days uterotrophic assay on immature mice showed body weight gain followed by a concentration-dependent decrease up to 4mg/g and a concentration dependent uterine wet weight increase. The ethanol extract exhibited the higher body weight gain representing 22.8±0.7%, (P≤0.001), at the concentration of 500μg/g/day, while the aqueous extract was significantly more efficient on the uterine wet weight gain of 0.24±0.001% (P≤0.05), at the concentration of 1000μg/g/day. In vitro isometric contraction measurement of oestrogen-primed rat uterine strips showed a significant high aqueous extract-induced contractile effect from 0.03-1.97mg/ml: on the amplitude of contraction (EC50 = 0.44±0.10mg/ml, P≤0.05), and on the rate (1.21±0.25mg/ml, P>0.05). Inspite of the higher effect of the aqueous extract on the tonus (57.23±23%), the ethanol extract showed a high effect (EC50= 0.34±0.09mg/ml, P≤0.05). The weak toxicity, the estrogenic-like and the oxytocic-like activities observed could explain the empirical use of Bidens pilosa leaf aqueous extract as an uterotonic preparation to enhance labour,
probably due to the presence of biologically active compound(s) which act directly on the uterine muscle.
Keywords: Bidens pilosaL. Leaf, Uterotrophic, Uterotonic, Mouse, Rat.
African Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine Vol. 5 (1) 2008: pp. 79-91