Spasmolytic effect of Psidium guajava Linn. (Myrtaceae) leaf aqueous extract on rat isolated uterine horns
Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.Journal of smooth muscle research = Nihon Heikatsukin Gakkai kikanshi 03/2009; 45(1):31-8. DOI: 10.1540/jsmr.45.31
Globally, primary dysmenorrhoea is one of the most frequent gynaecological disorders in young women. It is associated with increased uterine tone, and exaggerated contractility of uterine smooth muscles. In many rural African communities, a number of medicinal plants, including Psidium guajava Linn. (family: Myrtaceae), are used traditionally for the management, control and/or treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea. The present study was, therefore, undertaken to examine the spasmolytic effect of Psidium guajava leaf aqueous extract (PGE) on isolated, spontaneously-contracting and oestrogen-dominated, quiescent uterine horns of healthy, young adult, female Wistar rats. Graded, escalated concentrations of PGE (0.5-4.0 mg/ml) produced concentration-dependent and significant inhibitions of the amplitude of spontaneous phasic contractions of the isolated rat uterine horn preparations. In a concentration-related manner, PGE also significantly inhibited or abolished contractions produced by acetylcholine (ACh, 0.5-8.0 microg/ml), oxytocin (0.5-4.0 microU), bradykinin (2.5-10 ng/ml), carbachol (CCh, 0.5-8.0 microg/ml) or potassium chloride (K+, 10-80 mM) in quiescent uterine horn preparations isolated from the oestrogen-dominated rats. The spasmolytic effect of PGE observed in the present study lends pharmacological support to the traditional use of ;guava' leaves in the management, control and/or treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea in some rural African communities.
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ABSTRACT: Some traditional health practitioners of South Africa have claimed that Harpagophytum procumbens DC (family: Pedaliaceae) secondary root is a useful obstetric remedy for induction or acceleration of labour, as well as for expelling retained placentas in pregnant women. In the present study, therefore, we investigated the effect of H. procumbens secondary root aqueous extract (HPE) on longitudinal, tubular uterine horn muscle strips taken from non-pregnant and pregnant, young adult, female rats. HPE (10-800 microg/ml) induced concentration-related and significant (P<0.05) increases in the baseline tone, and caused powerful rhythmic, myogenic contractions of, oestrogen-dominated rat longitudinal uterine horn muscle strips taken from stilboesterol-pretreated, non-pregnant female rats. Relatively low to high concentrations of HPE (10-800 microg/ml) also provoked concentration-dependent and significant (P<0.05-0.001) increases in the baseline tone of, and contracted, longitudinal, tubular uterine horn muscle strips taken from female rats in the early, middle and late stages of pregnancy. Moderate to high concentrations of HPE (200-1,000 microg/ml) always provoked powerful contractions of isolated longitudinal, tubular uterine horn muscle preparations of non-pregnant and pregnant rats. The results of this in vitro study indicate that H. procumbens secondary root aqueous extract possesses spasmogenic, uterotonic action on mammalian uterine muscles. These findings lend pharmacological credence to the suggested folkloric obstetric uses of the plant's secondary root for induction and/or acceleration of labour, as well as for expelling retained placentas in pregnant women.
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ABSTRACT: This is an extensive review of plants used traditionally for women's healthcare in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. Medicinal plants have a significant role in women's healthcare in many rural areas of the world. Plants with numerous efficacious observations have historically been used as a starting point in the development of new drugs, and a large percentage of modern pharmaceuticals have been derived from medicinal plants. A review was conducted of all plant use mentioned specifically for female healthcare, such as medicine to increase fertility, induce menstruation or abortion, ease pregnancy and parturition, reduce menstrual bleeding and postpartum hemorrhage, alleviate menstrual, parturition and postpartum pain, increase or inhibit lactation, and treat mastitis and uterine prolapse, in 200 studies focusing on medicinal plant use, either general studies or studies focusing specifically on women's healthcare. Nearly 2000 different plant species are reported to be used in over 5000 combinations. Most common are Achyranthes aspera, Artemisia vulgaris, Blumea balsamifera, Carica papaya, Curcuma longa, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Leonurus japonicus, Psidium guajava and Ricinus communis, and each of these species had been reported in more than 10 different scientific articles. This review provides a basis for traditional plant use in women's healthcare, and these species can be used as the starting point in the discovery of new drugs.
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ABSTRACT: Ethnopharmacological relevance: Menstrual disorders are generally not perceived as major health concerns by global health organizations, despite being disruptive to women׳s daily activities, particularly when access to sanitary facilities or analgesics is limited. Improving menstrual health requires access to safe and effective medication, but many women in Latin America, Africa or Asia prefer traditional medicine above modern remedies (such as contraceptives), as they can cause physical symptoms associated with fertility loss. Many medicinal plants are used for menstrual disorders, but few have been examined for their pharmacological activities related to traditional uses. Plants that have a smooth muscle-relaxant effect could ease menstrual cramps, but there are indications that dysmenorrhea in low-income countries is commonly treated with emmenagogues. This review aims to assess the most salient plants used to treat menstrual morbidity in Latin America and the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, their uterine properties and adverse effects. To test whether plants used for painful menstruation could have uterine contracting properties, we recorded whether these species were also used to ease birth, induce menstruation, abortion or expel the afterbirth, as these suggest spasmogenic activities. Materials and methods: We reviewed the literature documenting traditional plant use in the study area for dysmenorrhea, regulating or inducing menstruation, uterine cleansing, uterine fibroids, expelling the placenta and lochia and for easing childbirth. Thirty genera (59 species) used in at least two continents or frequently throughout one continent, where shortlisted from the 90 most salient plant species emerging from our literature review. Using Medline, we searched for pharmacological properties and/or mechanisms of action relevant to their traditional uses of the shortlisted species. We searched VigiBase™, the WHO global individual case safety report database, on reported adverse drug reactions associated with these species. Results: More than 2000 plant species are used for menstrual disorders in the study area. The most salient uses are to treat painful menstruation, induce or regulate menses, and induce abortion. Around half (29) of the 59 most salient species have been tested for their pharmacological effects, of which 48% act as uterine spasmolytics and 31% as uterine spasmogenics. Several frequently used species contain toxic constituents, which may put women and their unborn children at serious risk. VigiBase(TM) listed adverse drug reactions for 18 of these species, but few reports came from the study area. Conclusions: Research into the risks and benefits of medicinal plants for menstrual complaints should be given a higher priority in reproductive health programs that respect traditional knowledge and practices. Increased data collection is needed on adverse drug reactions among women using herbal medicines for reproductive health, especially in countries with limited reproductive health facilities.
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