. Second International Scientific Conference of the College of Health Sciences,University of Nairobi & Kenyatta National Hospital; 2013.
BACKROUND: Adenia globosa Engl. (Passifloracea) is found in many parts of Kenya, Tanzania and Somalia. It is a shrub or climber with stems emerging from above-ground tuber of up to 2.5M wide. Some local names (of Adenia ssp.) are: Kilyambiti, Kasikimara, Ghole, Ngoli, Mugore, Mgore, Munua Nyoka etc.
PROPERTIES AND USES: Many of the Adenia species are extremely toxic and have been used for homicidal or suicidal purposes or for poisoning wild animals and fish. Nevertheless, several of the species are used in traditional herbal medicine: an anthelmintic, remedy for snake bite, antidote for arrow poison, orchitis, malaria and syphilis. It is also claimed that freshly prepared juice of the tuber of given to cows and goats that have difficulty in giving birth to hasten the process.
OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the study was to investigate the effect of the water extract of Adenia globosa on the isolated preparation of the rat uterus and how this could be affected by well known uterine stimulants such as ergometrine, oxytocin and prostaglandin F2α. and also by antagonists of acetylcholine and adrenaline.
SETTING: Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy Laboratory, School of Pharmacy, University of Nairobi, KNH Campus.
STUDY DESIGN: It was a laboratory based study. The crude extract and the other drugs were tested on isolated rat uterus set up in an organ bath under the usual laboratory conditions.
RESULTS: The results obtained demonstrated that the plant extract caused a dose-depended contraction of the rat uterus which was not antagonized by atropine nor phenoxybenzamine. The contractile effect was however potentiated by small doses of ergometrine, oxytocin and prostaglandin F2α.
CONCLUSIONS: It was concluded from these observations that the contractile action was not mediated through cholinergic nor adrenergic system. Secondly, it was postulated that since prostaglandin F2α and oxytocin are also released at the time of labour, the potentiatory action probably occurs in vivo when the plant preparation is given to domestic animals to ease and speed up the process of giving birth as claimed in the traditional use of this plant. This traditional use of the plant preparation is therefore scientifically justifiable