Gideon O Alade
Niger Delta University, Nigeria
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Globally, there is a need for family planning as a result of increasing human population growth rate with its undesirable impact on the environment, economic growth and poverty in several parts of the world most especially in the underdeveloped countries. Ninety percent of the world’s contraceptive users are women, probably due to the slow progress in development and limited possibilities of male contraceptives. Several medicinal plants have been implicated as antifertility in males, but only a few have been investigated. Bambusa vulgaris L. (Poaeceae), commonly known as “Bamboo” is found in Tropical and Sub-tropical areas It is commonly referred to as ‘Oparun’, ‘Iko’, and ‘Atosin’ among the Yoruba, Bini and Igbo tribes of Nigeria respectively. Ethnobotanical study of antifertility medicinal plants used by the people of Kathijavadi village in India revealed that the extract of B. vulgaris leaves is taken orally to reduce sperm count. Therefore, the study seeks to provide scientific justification to the acclaimed sperm reducing potentials of B. vulgaris leaf in male wistar rats. Male wistar rats were administered with 250 (n=12) and 500 mg/kg (n=24) of B. vulgaris leaf ethanol extract for 14 and 28 days, distilled water acting as negative control and 6 rats each were sacrificed at the end of 14 and 28 days separately. They were evaluated for sperm concentration, motility, testosterone (T), leutinizing (LH) and follicle stimulating hormones (FSH), histology of the testes was also carried out. The remaining of the rats administered with 500 mg/kg for 28 days were kept and allowed free access to feed and water while extract administration was withdrawn. Six rats were sacrificed weekly and sperm concentration and motility were evaluated for probable reversal of activity. There was 42 and 31 % reduction in sperm count at 14 and 28 days respectively in rats administered with 250 mg/kg while at 500 mg/kg dose, the percentage reduction in sperm count was 60 % and there was almost a complete reversal of activity 14 days after cessation of treatment. The result justified the ethnobotanical claim of the use of B. vulgaris leaf in reducing sperm count.