C. occidentalis, Electrolytes, Acid-base Balance, Hypotension.
The effect of aqueous extract of C. occidentalis seeds on serum electrolytes concentration, in rats, was investigated in order to assess the acclaimed hypotensive effect of the seeds and also the seeds extract’s relation with acid – base balance of the body. Serum concentrations of sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate ions were determined in 64 rats grouped into 4. Groups I, II and III rats were orally administrated with the seeds extract at a daily dose of 30 mg/kg, 60
mg/kg and 90 mg/kg respectively for 1,2,3 and 4 weeks each. Group IV served as control. Concentration of sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate in the serum of control rats were found to range from 130 – 155 mEq/L, 3.4 - 8.7 mEq/L, 80 – 107 mmol/L and 20 -35 mmol/L respectively. The results of this study showed no significant difference (P<0.01) when serum sodium, chloride and bicarbonate levels in the rats orally administered with 30 mg/kg for 1 – 2 weeks were compared with control rats . However, there was significant increase (P<0.01) in serum potassium levels at 3rd and 4th weeks of experiment. Oral administration of aqueous extract of C. occidentalis seeds at a daily dose of 60 mg/kg was found to show significant increase
(P<0.01) in serum potassium level and a significant decrease (P<0.05) in serum sodium levels irrespective of duration of administration (weeks). This indicates that the seeds extract have hyperkalaemic and hyponatremic effect at a daily dose of 60 mg/kg and as such can have
hypotensive effect at this dose. Serum levels of chloride and bicarbonate showed significant decrease (P<0.01) when the daily dose is 90 mg/kg for > 1 week. This indicates that the seeds extract dosage of 90 mg/kg could lead to disturbance in acid-base balance.