THE APHRODISIAC EFFECT OF ETHANOLIC EXTRACT OF MUCUNA PRURIENS SEED IN MALE ALBINO MICE

AUTHOR: OKOYE UCHECHUKWU LILIAN

DEPARTMENT: PHARMACOLOGY AND THERAPEUTICS

AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA

The seeds of Mucuna pruriens Linn, belonging to the leguminous family (Papilionaceae) have been used in Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times for the treatment of male sexual disorders. Aim of the study: This study is aimed to evaluate the phytochemical constituents, the effect of the ethanolic extract of Mucuna pruriens seed on general mating behaviour, libido and potency of normal male albino mice and be compared with the standard reference drug, sildenafil citrate and also to investigate the possible mechanism by which the drug enhances sexual function. Materials and Methods: Animals were divided into five groups. The first group was used as control (received distilled water) and experimental groups 2-5 were divided on the basis of the dosage of extract to the animals as follows: 150 mg/kg body weight (Group 2), 200 mg/kg body weight (Group 3) and 250 mg/kg body weight (Group 4) while Group 5 received sildenafil citrate (5 mg/kg body weight) which served as standard. Animals were fed per oral (PO) with distilled water or extract or standard drug once in a day for 7 days. To analyse the mating behaviour, female mice with oestrus phase were used. Results: Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of alkaloids, glycosides and aromatic amino-acids while saponins, tannins, carbohydrate, steroids and flavonoids are weakly present. The acute toxicity test done showed that Mucuna pruriens seed has LD50 > 2000 mg/kg. The extract administered per oral significantly increased the mounting frequency, intromission frequency and ejaculation latency, and decreased the mounting latency, intromission latency and postejaculatory intervals. The potency test significantly increased erections, quick flips, long flips and total reflexes. The results from this study indicated that the ethanolic extracts of Mucuna pruriens Linn. seed produced a significant and sustained increase in the sexual activity of normal male mice at a particular dose (200 mg/kg). When compared to control, all the drug-treated groups have shown drug-induced effects for a few parameters. Conclusion: The results from this study indicated that the ethanolic extract of Mucuna pruriens produced a significant and sustained increase in the sexual activity of normal male mice, without any conspicuous gastric ulceration and adverse effects. Thus, the resultant aphrodisiac activity of the extract lends support to the claims for its traditional usage in sexual disorders. The ethanolic extract also increased the effect of acetylcholine which indicated that the drug may be acting through the cholinergic nerves and this may be the mechanism responsible for its aphrodisiac effects.

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