The abortifacient effects of five plant species commonly used by Nigerian traditional birth attendants to achieve relatively painless delivery, hasten fetal delivery and evacuate retained placenta were investigated. Aqueous extracts of the plants were prepared and screened pharmacologically using isolated smooth muscle preparations and pregnant animals. The extracts were also subjected to toxicological and phytochemical studies. The extracts contracted isolated uterine smooth muscle preparation and potentiated oxytocin-induced responses of the uterus. In the whole animal, the extracts caused expulsion of fetuses in the third trimesters of pregnancy. These results appear to justify their traditional uses.
Phytotherapy Research 03/1994; 8(2):106 – 108. DOI:10.1002/ptr.2650080212