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Effect of alligator pepper (Zingiberaceae <i>Aframomum melegueta</i>) on first trimester pregnancy in Sprague Dawley Rats

U Inegbenebor
M.I Ebomoyi
K.A Onyia
K Amadi
A.E Aigbiremolen


Alligator pepper (Aframomum melegueta) is a spice that is widely used in many cultures for entertainment, religious rites, food flavor and as a part of many traditional doctors medications. Pregnant women are among those who ingest Alligator pepper in these activities. This experiment was carried out to determine the health risk or benefit of Alligator pepper to pregnant women if any. Fifteen male rats and fifteen female rats of proven fertility from a pilot study were randomly paired in fifteen cages in a well ventillated room. After three days of mating, the males were withdrawn from the females, which were allowed to stay in their separate maternity cages for 18-25 days. The females in the control group were fed with normal rat chow and clean drinking water ad libitum for the duration of the experiment. Each of the rats in the experimental group was served 20 g of rat chow mixed with 50mg of Alligator pepper for one day only and thereafter fed with normal rat chow and clean drinking water ad libitum for 18-25 days. The rats in the control group had a mean of 7 litters each, while the rats in the experimental group did not litter at all. It was concluded that ingestion of large quantities of Alligator pepper poses a health risk to women in their first trimester of pregnancy.

Key words : Effect, Alligator pepper, Herbal remedy, Nutrition, Pregnancy

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eISSN: 0794-859X