Journal of Pharmacy & Bioresources

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Phytochemical and aphrodisiac studies of ethanol root extract of Rauwolfia vomitoria Afzel (Apocynaceae)

Emmanuel I. Etim, Ekarika C. Johnson, Ubong S. Bassey, Paul A. Nwafor


The root of Rauwolfia vomitoria (Afzel) is known for its anti-hypertensive,  psychoactive properties and aphrodisiac potentials. This research work was aimed at studying the phytochemical constituents and aphrodisiac activities of the crude ethanol extract and its fractions. The root material was macerated for 72 h and the dried ethanol extract (EE) partitioned successively to obtain dichloromethane (DCM), ethyl acetate (EA), butanol (BuOH) and aqueous (AQ) fractions. The LD50 was determined using Miller and Tainter method. The aphrodisiac potential of the crude extract and these factions were evaluated using adult albino mature male rats. The crude ethanol extract was subjected to phytochemical screening. The median lethal dose (LD50) was determined to be 250±15.15mg/kg body weight. The result of phytochemical screening indicated the presence of alkaloids, saponins, cardiac glycosides, flavonoids, tannins and terpenoids. The extract and the fractions decreased mount latency, intromission latency, post ejaculation interval and increased ejaculation latency, mount frequency, erection frequency and penile erection. These effects were statistically significant (p<0.05, p<0.01, p<0.001) relative to control (normal saline). These findings authenticate the use of the root of Rauwolfia vomitoria as aphrodisiac agent.

Keywords:  Rauwolfia vomitoria; Aphrodisiac; Sexual dysfunction; Intromission; Mount latency

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