Preliminary screening of plant-based aphrodisiacs on the Zambian market
MetadataShow full item record
Male potency has been a talk of many years since humanity existed and the use of various kinds of substances to stimulate sexual desire has been done for many years. Many plant-based concoctions have been released on the Zambian market for consumption without scientifically proven results or effects. Herbalists, Traditional health practitioners (THPs) have put up many advertisements to spread their market base but all the same without any proven results to show to would-be customers to use a particular product. Two local herbal extracts, Mutimba vula (MTV) and Mwana apeluke (MWN) were studied for the presence of medicinally active components and for their sexual behaviour effects in male rats. The main objective of this research work was to determine aphrodisiac properties of MTV and MWN aqueous herbal extracts. Phytochemical screening to determine presence of medicinally active components was performed following standard guidelines. Thereafter, 3 g each of dried powder of MTV and MWN were soaked in 250 mL of distilled water for 3 hours for extraction of active ingredients. Two concentrations, high and low doses of the herbal extracts were administered orally to the treatment groups for 21 days followed by sexual behaviour analysis. Concentration of testosterone in blood samples was determined using a Testosterone Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) test. Herbal extracts showed varying amounts of saponins, tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids and glycosides. The mounting frequency (p=0.039), intromission frequency (p=0.032) and penile erections increased (p=0.001) significantly indicating enhanced sexual activity in animals treated with the plant extracts. The results indicated that there was no dose-dependent relationship between serum Testosterone levels and the treatment groups (p= 0.061). It was established that oral administration of Mutimba vula and Mwana apeluke caused increased sexual performance in rats. However, more studies are needed to exploit the possible mode of action.
The University of Zambia