Aphrodisiac Effects of an Ethanolic Root Extract of Ocimum fimbriatum Briq. var. fimbriatum (Kafupa) on Male Wistar Rats
Background: Ocimum fimbriatum Briq. var. fimbriatum is used traditionally in Zambia for its aphrodisiac effect, but there is no scientific evidence to support this use. Therefore, this study aimed to validate the aphrodisiac effects of the plant’s root extract in rats.
Study Design: This was an experimental study in which sixty Wister rats (30 males and 30 females) were separated into 5 groups of 12 rats and treated with different doses of the extract.
Methods: The root extracts were administered at single oral doses of 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg to 30 male rats. Distilled water and sildenafil served as controls. Female rats were treated with 0.1 mg/kg diethylstilbesterol and paired to the male rats. Mounting frequency, intromission, ejaculation, and latency periods were monitored using recording cameras. Recordings were analyzed visually and expressed as mean ± standard error.
Results: The root extract produced significant dose-dependent increases in mounting, intromission, and ejaculation frequencies and latency periods, compared to negative controls. The 400 mg/kg dose produced highest number of mounts (31.33 ± 0.49, p= 0.001), intromissions (24.17 ± 0.60, p= 0.001) and ejaculations (7.67 ± 0.33, p= 0.001) compared to negative controls. At this dose, latency periods for mounting (3.00 ± 0.37min, p= 0.001) and intromission (2.1 ± 0.32 min, p= 0.001) were shortest, while the latency periods for ejaculation (6.33 ± 0.56 min, p=0.001) were longest.
Conclusion: Root extract of Ocimum fimbriatum exerted significant aphrodisiac effects in rats and justifies traditional use of the plant. Further studies are required to elucidate the active principles and mechanisms involved in this effect.
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