Teratogenic Effects of Carissa Spinarum Stem and Root Extracts in Mice
Wabai, Yvonne W
Mwonjoria, John K M
Ngeranwa, Joseph N
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Carissa spinarum is used both as food and as medicine in traditional African societies. Its fruits and flowers are eaten as food; while its bark, roots, branches, and leaves are used to treat several ailments including gonorrhoea, chest pains, stomach pains, and coughs. C. spinarum has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiherpetic, and anticancer properties. However, there is a scarcity of scientific data on its teratogenic effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the teratogenic effects of the C. spinarum stem and root extracts in mice. The study was conducted using Swiss albino mice where the plant extracts were administered orally in pregnant Swiss albino mice from the 6th to the 15th day of pregnancy. On the 18th day, the mice were weighed and euthanized. The parameters recorded were as follows: maternal weights, weights of gravid uterus, and resorption. The data was tabulated as means and standard error of the means for each data set and one-way Anova/Tukey used for analysis. The difference in activity between the two extracts was compared using the Student’s t-test. P < 0.05 was set as the significance limit. Up to 100% resorption was observed in both C. spinarum stem and root treated groups. From the observations of this study, it is concluded that C. spinarum stem and root extracts showed significant teratogenic activity. Therefore, care needs to be exercised during administration in pregnancy.