Toxic effects of the administration of Mikania glomerata Sprengel during the gestational period of hypertensive rats
Herbal medicine is an ancient practice that has been gaining acceptance of the medical class through scientific studies that prove its effectiveness. However, its use should still be cautious. Medicinal plants have potential toxic effects not yet discovered, and may have unproven interactions with other medications. The use of drugs during pregnancy is still very dangerous and vigorously studied; however, there are few studies of herbal medicines in pregnant women. Existing studies prioritize on teratogenic or abortifacient effects. The aim of this study was to analyze the toxic effects of Mikania glomerata Sprengel administration, popularly known as “guaco” during the gestational period of hypertensive rats. For this experimental groups consisting of pregnant Wistar rats received treatments with guaco extract (1 to 2 mL). In order to analyze the possible toxic effects of guaco during pregnancy, weight gain of rats was assessed during pregnancy; reproductive performance of rats, morphological parameters, and fetal placental histology were compared. Although some parameters presented significant differences, we can conclude that changes prioritized by literature, such as toxicity, vasodilation and hypotension, have not been caused by guaco. The only fetal changes observed were due to the maternal hypertension. Some studies have reported vasodilator and hypotensive effects of guaco. However, only a few studies exist, and its actual effects remain unknown. Specific studies should be developed with higher doses of guaco for a definitive conclusion of its toxic and non-toxic effects.
Keywords: Guaco, Hypertensive pregnant rats, Mikania glomerata, Perinatal toxicity