Aqueous extract of the root of Momordica angustisepala (Cucurbitaceae) has been studied for abortifacient effects in albino female mice. The aqueous extract containing 0.8 mg dry matter/ml at dosages of 3.5 ml and 4 ml per kg body wt. of the female mice and guinea pig, respectively, was administered i.p. Several hours after administration, the pregnant animals aborted their fetuses. The drug appears to be effective at all stages of pregnancy confirming its use by herbalists to induce abortion in humans in some parts of Nigeria. The mechanism of action appears to be similar to the actions of oxytocics and ergot alkaloids. However, hormonal influence may be implicated.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 04/1983; 7(2):169-73. DOI:10.1016/0378-8741(83)90018-1