Vol. 11(47), pp. 582-592, 27 December, 2017
Article Number: F45CD2267980
Copyright © 2017
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article
African Journal of Pharmacy and
Full Length Research Paper
Antihypertensive effects of ethanolic extract of Mucuna
flagellipes seed on salt-induced hypertension on
Egharevba E. Jovita1, Celestine O. Ani2*, Igwe.C.Uzoma3, Anyaeji S.Pamela 1, Onwuka C.
Kelechi1, Adeyomo M. Ayowumi1 and Nwachukwu C. Daniel1
1Department of Human Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu State, Nigeria.
2Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Enugu State University of Science & Technology, Enugu, Nigeria.
3Department of Human Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State,
Received 9 October, 2017; Accepted 13 November, 2017
The need to consider an ethnomedicinal alternative for the management of hypertension has become
necessary due to the high cost associated with purchasing conventional antihypertensive drugs and
the inability of patients to adhere strictly to the procedures of administration. A total of 40 acclimatized
male Wistar rats were used for the study. Five rats were grouped as normotensive control (group A). 25
hypertensive rats were selected for the groups B to F; five rats each. Group B served as the
hypertensive negative control group without treatment, Group C served as the hypertensive group and
received amlodipine at 0.14 mg/kg. Groups D, E and F served as the hypertensive groups and received
25, 50 and 100 mg/kg dose of Mucuna flagellipes seed extract (MFSE) orally for 3 weeks. Their body
weights, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), heart rate (HR), mean arterial
blood pressure (MAP) and lipid profiles were assessed. The result of the study showed that the different
doses of the MFSE possess significant antihypertensive effects (p<0.001 and p<0.01) although not in
dose dependent manner. The findings therefore suggest that MFSE possess significant
antihypertensive effects though not as potent as amlodipine. Further research is therefore
recommended on these effects on man.
Key words: Hypertension, lipid profile, blood pressure, mucuna flagellipes.
Hypertension remains a global challenge even in the 21st
century with attendant increased mortality rate. It is
defined as BP ≥140 mmHg (systolic) and/or ≥90 mmHg
(diastolic) (A ni et al, 2016). About 75% of the world’s
*Corresponding author. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: +2348034607689, +2348159416345.
Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attri bution
License 4.0 International License
hypertensive population is expected to be in developing
countries by 2025 (Kearney et al., 2005) of which Nigeria
is not exceptional. Meanwhile, some plants that are
traditionally used in Nigeria for culinary purposes have
been observed to possess antihypertensive effects.
Mucuna flagellipes (MFSE) is commonly called Ukpo,
Ibaa or Okobo (Igbos), agbarin (Yorubas), Karangiwa
(Hausas) Ikpakhue (Edos) and ibaba (Efiks) by ethnic
groups in Nigeria (Enwere, 1998).
It belongs to the subfamily papilonacea. It comprises
pods covered with brownish dense- wisker-like hairs
called trichomes that are irritating when they come in
contact with the skin or eyes. Each pod may contain 1 to
3 seeds with a hard coating which is white when
immature and turns black when matured and dry
(Onuegbu et al., 2013) and it is used in some parts of
Nigeria especially South East as thickeners for making
soup (Ene-Obong, 2001; Okwu and Okoro, 2006). MFSE
have been reported to possess antioxidant, anti–
inflammatory, anti-microbial properties (Uchegbu et al.,
2015) and a low Na/K ratio (Ihedioha and Okoye, 2011).
Plants that have antioxidant activities and low Na/K
ratio have been shown to possess antihypertensive
properties (Ihedioha and Okoye, 2011). There is paucity
of information on antihypertensive properties of M.
flagellipes seeds in Nigeria and this necessitated this
This research investigated the effects of ethanolic M.
flagellipes extract (MFSE) on systolic (SBP), diastolic
(DBP) and mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), heart
rate, lipid profile such as total cholesterol level (TCL), low
density lipoproteins (LDL), high density lipoproteins (HDL)
and triglycerides and also the effect of ethanolic M.
flagellipes seeds extract (MFSE) on body weight.
MATERIALS AND M ETHODS
Plant collection and identification
M. flagellipes seeds w ere bought from Ogbete main market Enugu
metropolis, Enugu State Nigeria ( Figure 1). Identification of the
plant seeds w as done by Mr Onyeukw u of the Department of Plant
Science and Biotechnology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria,
A sample of the plant w as collected and kept at the Herbarium Unit
of the Department w ith a voucher number UNN/2017/188B.
Preparation of the M. flagellipes seeds powder
The dry seeds of M. flagellipes seeds w ere cracked to remove the
testa (Figure 2) and then milled into fine powder using a electric
blender (CB- 8283-J), a product of Century Company Ltd.. Oaks,
Method of ethanolic extraction of M. flagellipes seed extract
Three hundred millilitres of ethanol w as measured and poured into
a round bottom flask and 10 g of the powdered seed sample w as
placed into the thimble and w as inserted into the centre of the
soxhlet extractor and the extractor w as then heated at a
temperature of 65°C. As the solvent started boiling, the vapour rose
through the vertical tube of the extractor into the condenser at the
top of the extractor. The liquid w as condensed then dripped into the
filter paper thimble in the centre w hich contained the sample from
which oil is extracted. The extract sipped through the pores of the
thimble and filled a siphon tube, where it flowed back into the
bottom flask. This was allowed to continue for 6 h. It was then
removed from the tube and dried in an oven, cooled in the
desiccators. Further extractions w ere carried out at 30 min interval
until the entire pow dered sample w as extracted. At the end of the
extraction, the resulting mixture containing the M. flagellipes oil w as
heated to recover solvent from the oil. The brownish thick oil
concentrate was w eighed to give a w eight of 60.08 g (Uchegbu et
The quantitative and qualitative phytochemical analysis w as done
using standard methods (Harbone, 1984). Mineral analysis w as
done at the Research Laboratory of the Department of Crop
Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka using
the methods described by Pearson (1976). Analysis for chemical
compounds w as done using gas column mass spectrometry
method (GC-MS) in the quality control unit of the National Research
Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT), Ahmadu Bello
University, Zaria, Kaduna State Nigeria.
The mineral analysis w as carried out at the Research Labor atory of
the Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University
of Nigeria, Nsukka. Firstly, pow dered samples of the seeds
underwent acid digestion. The digest w as allowed to cool and then
transferred into a 200 ml standard flask and made up to the mark
with standard de-ionized water. The supernatant w as decanted and
the liquid was analyzed for the level of Na, Ca, Mg, Zn, Fe, K using
standard methods. Na and K w as analyzed using flame photometer
(Gallenkamp flame Analyzer, UK) and Ca, Mg, Zn and Fe levels
were analyzed using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (GBC
Avanta Ver. 2.02 Model, Australia).
A total of 40 male Wistar rats of weights between 100 – 200 g were
purchased and the research w as conducted in the Research
Laboratory Animal House Unit of the Department of Pharmacology
and Therapeutics, College of Health Sciences, Benue State
University, Makurdi, Benue State Nigeria. The rats w ere housed in
standard cages and acclimatized for 7 days w ith a 12 h dark/light
cycle at a temperature of 26.1°C and relative humidity of 26 during
which they w ere provided w ith hybrid feed and clean tap drinking
water ad libitium.
Method of induction of hypertension
Induction of hypertension w as done according to the method of Ani
et al. (2017) in w hich a high salt diet and feed were mixed in the
ratio of 80 g NaCl + 1 kg of diet and 1% NaCl in drinking w ater (10 g
of NaCl + 1 L distilled water) confirmed hypertensive rats after three
consecutive readings using a digital tail cuff Non-invasive blood
pressure monitor (NIBP) by PA NLAB Equipment USA.
Hypertensive male rats were selected for the experiment and
grouped as stated below : The rats were divided into 6 groups
namely; A, B, C, D, E and F of five (5) rats per group: Group A: Con
Figure 1. Image of uncracked M. flagellipes seeds.
Figure 2. Image of cracked M. flagellipes seeds.
control); Normotensive; Group B, hypertensive without treatment;
Group C, hypertensive treated w ith 0.14 mg/kg (amlodipine); Group
D, hypertensive treated w ith 25 mg/kg of MFSE; Group E,
hypertensive treated w ith 50 mg/kg of MFSE; Group F,hypertensive
treated with 100 mg/kg of MFSE.
Acute toxicity test
Acute toxicity test was measured by the method of Enegide et al.
(2013). Swiss albino mice of either sexes w eighing betw een 20 and
35 g were used. This method involved 3 stages and the fourth being
the confirmatory stage: Stage 1, Four mice w ere divided into four
groups of one mouse each. They w ere administered with different
doses of 10, 100, 300 and 600 mg/kg of the RCE and monitored for
1 h post administration and then 10 min every 2 h for 24 h. Their
behavioral signs of toxicity or mortality w ere monitored. At the end
of stage 1, no mortality w as observed and the experiment
proceeded to stage 2. In this stage, three groups of 3 Sw iss mice of
one mouse each were used and w ere administered 1000, 1500 and
2000 mg/kg of the MFSE and monitored for 1 h. During this period,
signs of toxicity and death w ere observed in the dose of 1500 and
2000 mg/kg respectively. Then, the research proceeded to the
confirmatory stage w here two mice again were administered 2000
mg/kg and monitored. Death occurred within 1 h of observation.
Then, the LD50 w as calculated using the formula:
LD50 = M0 + M1
Where, MO = highest dose that gave no mortality and M1= Lowest
dose that caused mortality.
LD50 = 1000 + 1500
LD50 = 2500
LD50 = 1250 /
Blood pressure and heart rate measurement
The systolic, diastolic blood pressure and heart rate were measured
according to the method of Ani et al. (2017) using the Noninvasive
Blood Pressure Meter (NIBP) Model No. LE5001 by PANLAB
Equipment, USA. The rats w ere placed in a transparent rat
restrainer and covered w ith a dark cloth to minimize anxiety and a
source of light w as situated closely to increase peripheral blood
flow. Acclimatization w as allowed for 10 min after which the BP
meter w as switched on for reading. The average of three readings
was taken as the final reading for each rat and recorded.
Measurement of the mean arterial blood pressure (MABP)
The mean arterial blood pressure was measured according to the
method stated in the Text Book of Medical Physiology
(Sebulingham and Sembulingham, 2012). MAP=1/3 Pulse pressure
+ diastolic blood pressure where pulse pressure = SBP – DBP
Lipid profile measurement
The lipid profiles for all the experimental animals were analyzed
using the method of Ani et al. (2017) using the handheld
cardiocheck test meter by Polymer Technology System (PTS) USA.
The equipment has already been calibrated from the factory. The
blood sample from each of the animals w as collected from the
median canthus of the eye using a heparinized capillary tube. The
MEMO clip was inserted, followed by the test strips and the
machine w as immediately sw itched on. Two drops of the w hole
blood was dropped on the strip and allow ed to stay for about 10 s
before result for each of the samples w ere displayed on the LCD
screen and recorded. Subsequent readings w ere displayed on
pressing the button (Ani et al., 2017).
Body weight measurement
The body w eight measurement was done using Metler digital
weighing balance (0.001-500 g) by Ohaus Equipment Ltd USA.
Readings were displayed on the screen of the balance upon
introduction of the rats.
The experiment w as approved by the Animal Research Ethics
Committee of the University of Nigeria, Enugu campus and handling
of animals follow ed the internationally accepted procedures
according to the Institute of Laboratory Animal Research guide for
the care and use of laboratory Animals.
Data w ere presented as mean ± standard error of mean (SEM) .
Data w ere analysed using statistical computer software (SPSS
version 21) one w ay analysis of variance (ANOVA) w ith Bonferroni
post hoc test for further multiple comparisons. Value of p<0.05 w as
considered to be statistically significant except otherw ise stated.
Table 1 shows the result of the qualitative and
quantitative phytochemical screening of ethanolic extract
of M. flagellipes seeds. The qualitative analysis was done
to determine the presence of the various phytochemical;
it can be seen that alkaloids, saponins and flavonoids
were abundantly present whereas glycosides were
moderately present. The quantitative analysis shows that
flavonoids had the highest percentage of 12.263%
followed by saponin (6.318%), glycoside (3.423%) and
the least was for alkaloids with 0.340%. Table 2 shows
the result of the mineral analysis done on the MFSE. The
results reveal that zinc had the highest concentration of
340 mg/100 g of the sample followed by Fe with 39.20
mg/100 g of sample, k had the third highest concentration
of 38.63 mg/100 g of the sample followed by Ca and Na
with values of 4.80 mg/100 g and 2.06 mg/100 g
Table 3 shows the results of the mean ± SEM of
systolic blood pressure at the hypertensive stage and the
treatment stages ranging from week 1 to week 3 of the
The results show that all the used rats for the
experiment were hypertensive with the exception of the
normotensive control group. From the table, it can be
Table 1. the results of qualitative and quantitative phytochemical screening of ethanolic
extract of Mucuna Flagellipes seeds.
+++ = Abundantly present; ++ = moderately present.
Table 2. Mineral analysis of M. flagellipes seeds.
Mean ± SEM (%)
Mg/100 g of sample
Table 3. The results of the mean ± SEM of systolic blood pressure at the hypertensive stage and the treatment stages
ranging from w eek 1 to week 3 of the treatments.
18 6.0±7.7 4*
17 4.0±5.7 8*
Data presented are mean ± SEM; *p<0.001 compared to group A: #p<0.001compared to group B
depicted that all the SBP successfully increased at the
end of the induction stage in the experimental groups B to
F when compared to group A. During the period of
administration/ treatment, the result showed that the
hypertensive stage in group B remained significantly high
especially at weeks 2 and 3 (p<0.001) compared with
control group A. There was a significant decrease in SBP
(p<0.001) at week 2 and 3 in positive control group C
compared to negative control group B. Extract treated
groups D,E and F also recorded a significant increase in
SBP (p<0.001 at week 2 and 3 compared to group B). It
was observed that group D administered 25 mg/kg was
better at reducing systolic blood pressure at the end of
the administrative period compared to other groups E and
F though the reduction was not significant when
compared among extract treated groups.
From the chart, it can be observed that the positive
control group C (Hypt+ amlodipine) had the highest
reduction in SBP with percentage reduction of 23%
followed by groups D, F and E with 20, 18 and 15%
respectively. Table 4 shows the result of the DBP at the
hypertensive stage and the treatment stages respectively.
It was observed that used rats in the experiment were not
hypertensive with the exception of the treatment groups B
to F which were hypertensive. The DBP successfully
increased in the experimental groups during the period of
induction of hypertension compared to the normotensive
control group A at the induction stage. Results show that
the DBP remained significantly high in control group B
(p<0.05 and p<0.001) throughout the experimental
period. There was a significant decrease in DBP (p<0.05)
(p<0.01) in the positive control group C administered with
0.14 mg/kg amlodipine at weeks 2 and 3 compared to
Extract treated groups D, E and F also significantly
reduced DBP (p<0.01) at the end of the administration
Table 4. Mean± SEM of the Diastolic Blood Pressure during hypertensive stage and the treatment stages.
11 9.2±2.5 6*
Data presented as mean ± SEM*=p<0.05 compared to group A; #p<0.001 compared to group A: ß=p<0.05 compared to
B;®=p<0.01 compared to B.
Table 5. The mean± SEM of Heart Rate during hypertensive stage and treatment periods.
We ek 2
Data presented as mean ± SEM: *p<0.05 compared to A; #p<0.001 compared to group A;ap<0.001 compared to group B; bp<0.01
compared with group B.
period when compared to the negative control B.
Table 5 shows the result of the mean± SEM of the
mean arterial pressure during the hypertensive stage and
the treatment periods. There was also an increase in
mean arterial blood pressure in experimental groups B to
F when compared to group A at the end of the induction
stage. There was a significant increase in MAP (p<0.05
and p<0.001) compared to the group A. The result also
showed a significant decrease in MAP in groups C
(p<0.001), D, E and F (p<0.01) at weeks 2 and 3
compared to group B.
Figure 6 shows the percent decrease in the MAP. From
Figure 6, it can be observed that the positive control
group C was the most effective in reducing blood
pressure as evident by 25% decrease in MAP compared
to group B. Extract treated groups D and F followed. The
result also showed a significant decrease in MAP in
groups C (p<0.001), D, E and F (p<0.01) at weeks 2 and
3 compared to group B. Extract treated groups D and F
followed in effectiveness with percent decrease of 23%
and then extract treated group E with a percent decrease
Table 5 shows the result of the mean heart rate during
the hypertensive and the treatment stages. It is clear from
the table that at the end of the induction period
(hypertensive stage), an increase in heart rate was
recorded in groups B to F when compared to group A.
During the treatment period, there was a significant
decrease in heart rate (p<0.01 and p<0.001) throughout
the treatment period compared to group B. In the extract
treated groups D, E and F, heart rate was also found to
be significantly reduced throughout the experimental
period (p<0.01 and p<0.001). Also from Figure 5, it is
observed that the extract treated group was more potent
in reducing heart rate than the positive control group.
Extract treated group F had the highest potency with a
percent decrease of 16% followed by groups D (14%),
E(13%) and group C (12%) which had the least %
From Table 7, it was observed that there were
significant increases in body weight among the
experimental groups; there was no significant difference
between the groups compared to groups A and B. Table
8 shows the result of the mean lipid profile parameters at
the end of the treatment. From the table, it was observed
that triglyceride level significantly increased (p<0.001) in
group B when compared to group A. Group C also
significantly reduced the total cholesterol levels
(p<0.001), increased HDL levels (p<0.001) and reduced
LDL levels (p<0.001) when compared to group B. Results
also show that there was a significant decrease in total
cholesterol and triglyceride level (p<0.001) in group D
compared to group B. Group E recorded a significant
decrease in cholesterol (p<0.05), triglyceride (p<0.001)
and LDL (p<0.01) levels and an increase in HDL
(p<0.001) levels compared to group B. Comparing extract
treated groups C, it was observed that there was
significant decrease in HDL levels (p<0.01) and a
Table 6. The means ± SEM of the body w eights (gram) during hypertensive stage and the treatment
Table 7. Shows the result of the Mean± SEM of the lipid profile parameters at the end of the experimental
period (w eek 3 of treatment).
Total choles terol
12 8.8±2.9 4*
12 8.0±2.5 3*
12 1.6±2.0 4*
Data presented as Mean ± SEM; ap<0.001 compared to A;*p<0.001, bp<0.05 compared to group B; ßp<0.001
compared to group C, Øp<0.01, p <0.001 compared to group D.
significant increase in LDL levels (p<0.001). Comparing
between extract treated groups, group E recorded a
significant increase in HDL levels (p<0.01) compared to
group D. Group F also recorded a significant increase in
HDL levels (p<0.001) and a significant decrease in LDL
levels (p<0.01) when compared to group D.
This research really authenticated the antihypertensive
effects of the M. flagellipes seed extract in Wistar rats.
This confirmed the claim that most herbs have been
known to possess antihypertensive and hypotensive
activities and have been encouraged as an alternative or
adjunct treatment for hypertension in many parts of the
world. These claims have been attributed to the
possession of phytochemical such as saponins,
flavonoids, alkaloids, glycosides and minerals such as
potassium. Phytochemical analysis done on M. flagellipes
seed in this research has shown that it possesses the
above properties and consequently may validate its use
in the management of hypertensive patients. Evaluation
of LD50 has been described as the first and important
step in determining the toxicological characteristics of an
unknown substance (Enegide et al., 2013). Therefore, the
authors could conveniently say that choosing convenient
dosage within the limit of the LD50 is considered safe.
The findings of the phytochemical screening done on this
plant extract in this research is in agreement with the
findings of Okwu and Okoro (2006) who suggested the
highest concentration of flavonoids in M. flagellipes
seeds. The aroma imposed by these phytochemical may
be responsible for the characteristic aromatic smell of
MFSE upon extraction and this could be the reason why
MFSE are used in making culinary dishes especially
soups in most part of Eastern Nigeria.
Flavonoids are a diverse range of polyphenol agents
which are present in abundance in plant based foods and
have been reported to have effects against
cardiovascular diseases including hypertension (Gosh
and Scheepens, 2009). They are reported to exert their
effect through various mechanism including their ability to
scavenge free radicals, the ability to interact with
molecular signalling pathways that regulate cellular
processes (Gonzalez et al., 2011) and their probable
ACE inhibitory activity (Kwon et al., 2010). Glycoside
found in this plant is used in lowering blood pressure
(Nyarko and Addy, 1990). Alkaloids pharmacological
activities include vasodilation, antihyperglycaemic,
antibacterial amongst others (Sinatra et al., 2010; Shi et
al., 2014). The detection of high and moderate amounts
of these phytochemical especially flavonoids indicated
that this plant has both medicinal and nutritional
properties. The findings on the table of the mineral
analysis found is in contrast with the findings of Ajayi et
al. (2006), who recorded a very low value of 7.30 mg/100
g for zinc when compared to other minerals. However, his
25 mg/kg MFE
50 mg/kg MFE
100 mg/kg MFE
Figure 3. Percentage decrease in SBP at the end of the experiment compared to control B.
25 mg/kg MFE
50 mg/kg MFE
100 mg/kg MFE
Figure 4. Percentage decrease in the DBP of hypertensive and treatment groups.
findings are in agreement with this present study in terms
of high K concentration compared to that of Na. The
variation in the Zn values could be attributed to the
natural habitat from which the plant sample was collected
as it may be that the soil from which the pl ant’s seed for
the study was collected was laden with Zn. It has been
documented that Zn is an important mineral because of
its antioxidant properties (Shazia et al., 2012). It
participates in major body functions like protein synthesis,
DNA synthesis, cell growth, cardiovascular homeostasis
and plays a vital role in immunological systems (Shazia et
al., 2012). The high concentration of zinc in the seed of
M. flagellipes in this present study might have contributed
to its blood pressure lowering ability as a deficiency in
25 mg/kg MFE
50 mg/kg MFE
100 mg/kg MFE
Figure 6. Percentage decrease in the MAP of hypertensive and treated group.
25 mg/kg MFE
50 mg/kg MFE
100 mg/kg MFE
Figure 5. Bar chart of the percentage decrease in the HR of hypertensive and
treated group w hen compared to group B.
zinc has been proposed to play a role in blood pressure
regulation by altering the taste of salt. According to
McDaid et al. (2007), a high dietary Zn intake results in
better taste acuity for salt. Thus, people with zinc
deficiency tend to increase salt intake which predisposes
to an increase in blood pressure.
The high Zn concentration found in the plant seeds
could also suggest that they play a valuable role in the
management of diabetes which resulted from insulin
malfunctioning (Okwu and Okoro, 2006) as Zn is vital for
the production of insulin and carbonic anhydrase (Okwu,
2005). The oil content found in the seed could also mean
that MFS may also aid in O2 transport in the blood as Fe
is a component of haemoglobin (Okwu, 2006). The high K
and low Na ratio found in the plant could be
advantageous due to the direct relationship of high K and
low Na ratio in reducing high blood pressure (Ani et al.,
2017). The moderate Ca content may implicate the plants
use in the treatment of osteoporosis and bleeding as
normal extracellular calcium concentrations are
necessary for blood clotting (Okaka and Okaka,
2001).The increase in blood pressure during the process
of induction following chronic salt intake is in agreement
with the work of Ani et al. (2007) although the exact
mechanism for the increase are not quite clear. It may be
due to the inappropriate response of Renin-Angiotensin
Aldosterone System (RAAS) (Wu et al., 2014) with
consequent retention of Na and H2O.
The antihypertensive effects of MFSE seen in the
results were not dose–dependent. Moreover, the
antihypertensive effects of MFSE may be cardio-
dependent as HR was also significantly reduced following
administration (Anaka et al., 2009). Reduction in HR is
the main mechanism by which beta adrenoceptors
blockers such as atenolol reduce blood pressure in
hypertensive rats (Westfall and Westfall, 2006). Also, it
could be as a result of cardiac glycosides which have
been shown to aid in the treatment of congestive heart
failure and cardiac arrhythmia (Tula et al., 2014). The
results of the lipid profile parameters recorded by the
MFSE suggest that MFSE could also possess
antihyperlipidemic and hypolipidemic properties and this
ability of this extract to manage dyslipidemia poses a
beneficial effect on cardiovascular disorders including
hypertension. Effective control of cholesterol in blood may
help in preventing or hastening the decrease of blood
pressure. Saponin has also been found to
potentially useful for the treatment of
hypercholesterolemia and thus reduces the risk of
cardiovascular diseases (Akinpelu and Onaoya, 2006).
The reduction in the cholesterol levels recorded in this
research may be due to the ability of the saponins to bind
to cholesterol to form insoluble complexes thus
preventing cholesterol re-absorption (Tolulope, 2007).
Flavonoids have also been implicated in the control of
dyslipidemia by inhibiting LDL oxidation (James et al.,
2014). Amlodopine being a selective dihydropyridine L-
channel blocker showed no effect on triglyceride levels in
this study probably because amlodipine do not exert any
significant effect on triglycerides. These findings agree
with that of Amer et al. (2003) which stated that Ca
channel blockers do not have any significant effect on
The ethanolic extract of M. flagellipes possesses
significant antihypertensive effect although this effect was
not as potent as that of the standard drug (amlodipine).
This effect could be due to its ability to slow heart rate
and regulate dyslipidemia resulting from the presence of
various phytochemical and minerals especially flavonoids
and high k and low Na content.
This study therefore recommends that the study should
be further modified in terms of dosage and duration of the
experiment to further consolidate on the antihypertensive
effect and establish its specific effect on body weight.
Moreover, further studies should be carried out on this
plant to isolate the precise active compound(s)
responsible for the antihypertensive effect found in this
CONFLICT OF INTERESTS
The authors have not declared any conflict of interests.
The authors sincerely appreciate the attention given to us
by all the staff of Animal House Unit Research Laboratory
of the College of Health Sciences of the Benue State
University Makurdi, Benue State Nigeria and also to the
acting head of Department of Pharmacology and
Therapeutics (Dr A.F Asalu) who endorsed and allowed
the researchers to use all the necessary equipment/
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