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Communication

Phytochemical Profile, Safety and Efficacy of a Herbal Mixture Used for Contraception by Traditional Health Practitioners in Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality, South Africa

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Indigenous Knowledge Systems Centre, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag X2046, Mmabatho 2790, North West Province, South Africa
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School of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Agriculture, University of Mpumalanga, Mbombela Campus, Private Bag X11283, Nelspruit 1200, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa
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Department of Science and Innovation/North-West University Preclinical Drug Development Platform (PCDDP), Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, North West Province, South Africa
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Laura Grațiela Vicaș and Mariana Eugenia Mureșan
Plants 2022, 11(2), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11020193
Received: 8 December 2021 / Revised: 30 December 2021 / Accepted: 5 January 2022 / Published: 12 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plant Extracts)
The use of medicinal plants for contraception remains a common practice among South African ethnic groups. The present study assessed the phytochemical profile, cytotoxicity, acute oral toxicity and efficacy of a herbal mixture used for contraception by the Batswana of South Africa. An aqueous extract was prepared from equal quantities (in terms of weight) of Bulbine frutescens (roots), Helichrysum caespititium (leaves) and Teucrium trifidum (leaves) based on a recipe used by traditional health practitioners. The phytochemical profiles of the freeze-dried herbal mixture were analyzed using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In addition, cytotoxicity was determined using an MTT assay on Vero cells and in vivo contraceptive efficacy was evaluated using seven Sprague Dawley rats per control and treatment groups. The control group received distilled water while test groups received 5, 50 and 300 mg/kg of the herbal mixture, which was administered orally once a day for three consecutive days. Subsequently, female rats were paired 1:1 with males for 3 days. Their weights were measured weekly and incidence of pregnancy was recorded. The GC-MS chromatogram revealed the presence of 12 identified and 9 unidentified compounds. In terms of safety, the herbal mixture had an IC50 value of 755.2 μg/mL and 2000 mg/kg, which was the highest tested dose that caused no mortality or morbidity in the rats. A contraceptive efficacy of 14.5% was exerted with 50 mg/kg herbal mixture extract while other doses had no effects given that all the rats were pregnant. Based on a chi-square test (p < 0.05), there was no correlation between the tested herbal mixture doses and contraception, nor on the weight of the rats. Overall, the herbal mixture extract was found to be safe but had limited contraceptive efficacy at the tested doses. In future studies, exploring increased dose range, solvent extract types and hormonal analysis will be pertinent. View Full-Text
Keywords: acute toxicity; contraceptive; cytotoxicity; medicinal plants; phenolics; toxicity acute toxicity; contraceptive; cytotoxicity; medicinal plants; phenolics; toxicity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Moroole, M.A.; Materechera, S.A.; Otang-Mbeng, W.; Hayeshi, R.; Bester, C.; Aremu, A.O. Phytochemical Profile, Safety and Efficacy of a Herbal Mixture Used for Contraception by Traditional Health Practitioners in Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality, South Africa. Plants 2022, 11, 193. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11020193

AMA Style

Moroole MA, Materechera SA, Otang-Mbeng W, Hayeshi R, Bester C, Aremu AO. Phytochemical Profile, Safety and Efficacy of a Herbal Mixture Used for Contraception by Traditional Health Practitioners in Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality, South Africa. Plants. 2022; 11(2):193. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11020193

Chicago/Turabian Style

Moroole, Molelekwa Arthur, Simeon Albert Materechera, Wilfred Otang-Mbeng, Rose Hayeshi, Cor Bester, and Adeyemi Oladapo Aremu. 2022. "Phytochemical Profile, Safety and Efficacy of a Herbal Mixture Used for Contraception by Traditional Health Practitioners in Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality, South Africa" Plants 11, no. 2: 193. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11020193

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