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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:738103. doi: 10.1155/2011/738103. Epub 2011 Jan 2.

Effect of Aqueous Extract of Massularia acuminata Stem on Sexual Behaviour of Male Wistar Rats.

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  • 1Phytomedicine, Toxicology, Reproductive and Developmental Biochemistry Research Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, PMB 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria.


Ancient literature alluded to the use of a number of plants/preparations as sex enhancer. One of such botanicals is Massularia acuminata in which the stem has been acclaimed to be used as an aphrodisiac. Documented experiments or clinical data are, however, lacking. Therefore, this study was undertaken to evaluate the acclaimed aphrodisiac activity of M. acuminata stem. Sixty male rats were completely randomized into 4 groups (A-D) of 15 each. Rats in group A (control) were administered with 1 mL of distilled water (the vehicle) while those in groups B, C, and D were given same volume containing 250, 500, and 1000 mg/kg body weight of the extract, respectively. Sexual behaviour parameters were monitored in the male rats for day 1 (after a single dose), day 3 (after three doses, once daily), and day 5 (after five doses, once daily) by pairing with a receptive female (1 : 1). The male serum testosterone concentration was also determined. Cage side observation on the animals revealed proceptive behaviour (ear wiggling, darting, hopping, and lordosis) by the receptive female rats and precopulatory behaviour (chasing, anogenital sniffing and mounting) by the extract-treated male rats. The extract at 500, and 1000 mg/kg body weight significantly (P < .05) increased the frequencies of mount and intromission. In addition, the ejaculation latency was significantly prolonged (P < .05). The latencies of mount and intromission were reduced significantly whereas ejaculation frequency increased. The extract also reduced the postejaculatory interval of the animals. Computed percentages of index of libido, mounted, intromitted, ejaculated and copulatory efficiency were higher in the extract treated animals compared to the distilled water-administered control whereas the intercopulatory interval decreased significantly. The extract also significantly (P < .05) increased the serum testosterone content of the animals except in those administered with 250 mg/kg body weight on days 1 and 3. Data from this study identified that the aqueous extract of Massularia acuminata stem enhanced sexual behaviour in male rats. The improved sexual appetitive behaviour in male rats at the doses of 500 and 1000 mg/kg body weight of Massularia acuminata stem may be attributed, at least in part, to the alkaloids, saponins, and/or flavonoids since these phytochemicals has engorgement, androgen enhancing, and antioxidant properties.

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