Nigerian Quarterly Journal of Hospital Medicine

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Jatropha Curcas Seed Oil Linn (Euphor Biaceae): Contraceptive Activity And An Oral Formulation

OM Odusote, AO Abioye, MO Rotibi


The pharmacological screening of the oil of Jatropha curcas revealed a remarkable contraceptive activity. Doses up to 1g/kg have promising contraceptive activity without any form of toxicity. However, doses from 2g/kg caused significant acute toxicity in rats. None of the rats administered with J. curcas seed oil produced pup compared to control group, which produced a total of 10 pups. It was evident that the contraceptive activity in rats was due to the J. curcas seed oil. The contraceptive activity of the seed oil increase with concentration to a maximal at 1g/kg. Toxicity also increased with concentration, and 0.5g/kg, a concentration where no death was recorded was chosen as a relatively safe dose in rats. Attempts were made to formulate a stable oral emulsion from the oil. Formulations with 2; 2:1 oil, water, gum ratio gave better stability than those with 4: 2:1 ratio over a study period of 5 weeks. It was obvious that J. curcas seed oil is a volatile oil. It was also observed that tragacanth formed more stable primary emulsions than acacia gum. It was concluded that Jatropha curcas seed oil has significant contraceptive activity and it could be formulated into stable oral emulsion at doses not exceeding 0.5g/kg.

Nig. Qt. J. Hosp. Med. Vol.12(1-4) 2002: 44-47
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