Bulbine Natalensis, appears safe up to 50mgs/kg

Theriogenology. 2009 Aug;72(3):322-32. Epub 2009 May 1.

Reproductive toxicologic evaluations of Bulbine natalensis Baker stem extract in albino rats.

Yakubu MT, Afolayan AJ.

Phytomedicine Research Centre, Department of Botany, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa.


The effects of oral administration of aqueous extract of Bulbine natalensis Baker stem at daily doses of 25, 50, and 100mg/kg body weight on the reproductive function of Wistar rats were evaluated. The indices of mating and fertility success as well as quantal frequency increased after 7 days of treatment in all the dose groups except the 100mg/kg body weight group. The number of litters was not statistically different (P>0.05) from the control. Whereas the absolute weights of the epididymis, seminal vesicle, and prostate were not affected, that of the testes was significantly increased. The epididymal sperm count, motility, morphology, and viscosity were not different from the control after 7 days of treatment. The male rat serum testosterone, progesterone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone significantly increased in the 25 and 50mg/kg body weight groups, whereas the estradiol concentration decreased significantly at all the doses. The extract dose of 100mg/kg body weight decreased the serum testosterone and progesterone levels in male rats. The prolactin concentration was not affected by all the doses. All the indices of reproduction, maternal, embryo/fetotoxic, teratogenic, and reproductive hormones in the female rats were not statistically different from that of their control except the resorption index, which increased at the dose of 100mg/kg body weight of the extract. Histologic examination of the cross section of rat testes that received the extract at all the doses investigated revealed well-preserved seminiferous tubules with normal amount of stroma, normal population of spermatogenic and supporting cells, as well as normal spermatocytes within the lumen. The results revealed that the aqueous extract of Bulbine natalensis stem at doses of 25 and 50mg/kg body weight enhanced the success rate of mating and fertility due to increased libido as well as the levels of reproductive hormones in male rats. The absence of alterations in the reproductive parameters of female rats at doses of 25 and 50mg/kg body weight of Bulbine natalensis stem extract suggest that the extract is “safe” for use at these doses by females during the organogenic period of pregnancy, whereas the extract dose of 100mg/kg body weight portends a negative effect on some reproductive functions of male and female rats.

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