Effects of aqueous leaf extract of velvet bean (Mucuna ruriens) on reproductive outcome in adult female Wistar rats
From ancient times in many parts of the world, herbal medications have been used for the treatment of various ailments. Mucuna pruriens is a leguminous plant that has various medicinal purposes. Literature reports state that it enhances normal fertility, healthy sperm and ova, proper functioning of the reproductive organs and appropriate genital secretions. This present study was done to study the effects of the aqueous leaf extract of M. pruriens on reproductive outcome in adult female Wistar rats. Twenty-four adult Wistar rats were used for this research. These animals were randomly divided into four groups of six (6) rats each. The animals were weighed before commencement and during the period of the experiment. All animals received water and feed ad libitum. Group A served as control. Groups B and C received 500mg and 1500mg/kg bodyweight of extract respectively for 10days before mating. Group D comprised of the male animals used for mating the females. After littering, the pups were counted and weighed. The statistical apparatus used for analyzing the data was IBM/SPSS version 20 and the method employed was ANOVA. Results were taken to be statistically significant when P<0.05. Group B showed no significant increase (P>0.05) in bodyweight change of dams as well as in pup weight. Group C on the other hand showed a significant increase (P<0.05) both in the bodyweight change of dams but not in pup weight. A dose dependent increase in reproductive outcome and pregnancy success rate was observed in animals of group B and C. Findings from this study indicate that Mucuna pruriens has pro-fertility potential. It is therefore safe to administer extract in experimental animals to enhance their reproductive ability.
Keyword: Mucuna pruriens, reproductive outcome, fertility, litter size