Botanical galactogogues: nutritional values and therapeutic potentials

  • It Gbadamosi
  • O Okolosi
Keywords: Botanicals, galactogogues, macronutrients, micronutrients, phytochemicals, antimicrobial activity


Objective: In view of the reported side effects of the orthodox galactogogues, this study analysed ten botanical galactogogues for their chemical constituents and antimicrobial activities with the aim of providing scientific insight into their use as galactogogues. Methodology: The plants were identified at University of Ibadan Herbarium (UIH). Powdered plant samples were screened for chemical compositions using standard methods. The test organisms were clinical pathogenic isolates of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus. The ethanol extracts (50%) of samples were prepared using cold extraction method and tested in vitro against isolates using agar well diffusion method. Alternanthera sessilis had the highest (17.60 mg/100g) crude protein. Vitex doniana had the least (15.36 mg/100g) crude fibre. V. doniana contained 1.46 mg/100g of iron. A. digitata contained calcium (5275.00 mg/100g). Lecaniodiscus cupanioides showed highest (15.00 mm) activity against Escherichia coli. V. doniana was most active against Klebsiella pneumoniae (21.00 mm). Conclusions and application of findings: This study has contributed to preservation of indigenous knowledge of the use of botanicals as galactogogues. The test plants may not only work as galactagogues but also carry out multifunctional activity in the nursing mother and the child. Adansonia digitata can be used as weaning food due to its high calcium content. Vitex doniana could be used as food supplement based on its iron component. It could also have therapeutic application in anaemia related diseases or health condition in nursing mother especially Insufficient Milk Supply (IMS). The plants showed therapeutic potentials against E. coli and K. pneumoniae. They could be used for the treatment of diarrhoea and pneumonia reportedly to be major causes of child mortality worldwide. Further work should confirm the activity of these plants as galactagogues. The isolation and identification of active compounds of the test plants will contribute immensely to their use as herbal drugs. Keywords: Botanicals, galactogogues, macronutrients, micronutrients, phytochemicals, antimicrobial activity.

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eISSN: 1997-5902