Effect of Consumption of Aqueous Extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa and Azadirachta indica during Pregnancy and Lactation on Body Weight Changes in Rats

Main Article Content

Ephraim E. Ekanem
Iyare O. Cordilia
Charles, O. Ezeh
Pearl A. Okeke
Nkiru A. Katchy
Deborah B. Adeniyi
Iyare E. Eghosa


Extracts of Hibiscus sabdariffa (HS) and Azadirachta indica (AI) are widely used in Nigeria for medicinal purposes and have also been shown to affect weight changes anecdotally through mechanisms not yet defined. There are reports of decreased food consumption and weight gain in rats consuming HS extracts as the drinking solutions but there is paucity of data on the effect of these two extracts, administered by gavage, on weight changes during pregnancy and lactation. This study was therefore designed to investigate this in relation to food and fluid intake. 40 pregnant rats weighing 150-200 g were used for this study. They were divided into three groups: control, HS and AI groups. HS and AI groups were subdivided into two subgroups of low and high doses. Extract administration was orally by gavage and commenced on day 1 of pregnancy and ended on postnatal day 21. Food and fluid consumption were monitored throughout pregnancy and lactation. The results showed that the aqueous extract of HS and AI increased consumption of food and fluid during pregnancy and lactation, increased maternal weight gain during pregnancy and lactation. From the results of the present study, it can be concluded that consumption of aqueous extracts of HS and AI during pregnancy and lactation increased fluid and food intake and weight gain of dams with a possible potential to accelerate weight loss or decrease postpartum weight retention during lactation.

Hibiscus sabdariffa, Azadirachta indica, pregnancy, lactation, weight changes.

Article Details

How to Cite
Ekanem, E., Cordilia, I., Ezeh, C., Okeke, P., Katchy, N., Adeniyi, D., & Eghosa, I. (2019). Effect of Consumption of Aqueous Extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa and Azadirachta indica during Pregnancy and Lactation on Body Weight Changes in Rats. European Journal of Medicinal Plants, 29(1), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.9734/ejmp/2019/v29i130144
Original Research Article


Ijeomah AU, Ugwuona FU, Abdullahi H. Photochemical composition and antioxidant properties of Hibiscus sabdariffa and Moringa oleifera. Nigeria Journal of Agriculture Food and Environment. 2012;8(1):10-16.

Burns JPT, Gardner D, Mathew GG, Duthie M, Lean E, Crozier A. Extraction of phenolic and changes in antioxidant activity of red wine during vinification. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. 2001;49:5797-5808.

Dalziel TM. The useful plant of tropical Africa 3rd edition, London: Watmought ltd, Bradford. 1973;526-530.

Wang CJ, Wang JM, Lin WL, Chu CY, Chou FP, Tseng TH. Protective effect of Hibiscus anthocyanins against tert-butyl hydroperoxideinduced hepatic toxicity in rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2000; 38(5):411–416.

Odigie IP, Ettarh RR, Adigun SA. Chronic Administration of aqueous Hibiscus sabdariffa attenuates hypertension and reverses cardiac hypertrophy in 2k-IC hypertrophy rats. J. Ethnopharmacol. 2003;8b(2-3):181-185.

Mahadevan N, Shivali Kamboj P. Hibiscus sabdariffa Linn - An overview. Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources (IJNPR). 2009;8 (1):77-83.

Ejoba R. Phytochemical constituents of some leaves extract of Aloe vera and Azadirachta indica plant species. Global Advanced Research Journal of Environmental Science and Toxicology. 2012;1(2):014-017.

Ogbuewu IP. Physiological responses of rabbits fed graded levels of neem (Azadirachta indica) leaf meal. M.Sc. Thesis, Federal University of Technology, Owerri; 2008.

Hypercyclopedia. Health Benefits of Neem; 2014. Available:www.hybercyclopedia.cm.Retrievedl2thJuly.2011

Mossini SA, Oliveira KP, Kemmelmeier, C. Inhibition of Patulin Production by Penicillium expansum culture with neem (Azadirachta indica) leaf extracts. Basic Microbiology. 2004;44:106-113.

Iyare EE, Adegoke OA. Maternal consumption of an aqueous extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa during lactation accelerates postnatal weight and delays onset of puberty in female offspring. Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences. 2008;23(1–2):89–94.

Ekanem EE, Ituen A, Ezeh CO, Okorie P, Uzoigwe J, Ugwu P, Iyare EE. Effect of consumption of Hibiscus sabdariffa and Azadirachta inidca prenatally and postnatally on milk creamatocrit and early growth of offspring. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2018;15(3):31-37.

lyare EE, Adegoke OA. Gestational outcome in rats that consumed aqueous extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa during pregnancy. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition. 2011;10(4):350-354.

Biu AA, Yusufu SD, Rabo JJ. Acute toxicity study on neem (Azadirachta indica, juss) leaf aqueous extract in chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus). African Scientist. 2010; 11(2).

Trease GE, Evans WC. Pharmacognosy. 15th ed. W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia. 2002;214-393.

Benie T, Duval J, Thieulant ML. Effect of some traditional plant extracts on rat oestrus cycle compared with clomid. Phytother Res. 2003;17:748-51.

Iyare EE, Adegoke OA. Body mass index at onset of puberty in rats exposed to aqueous extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa in utero. African Journal of Biomedical Research. 2008;11:203-208.

Iyare EE, Obaji NN. Effects of aqueous leaf extract of Azadirachta indica on some haematological parameters and blood glucose level in female rats. Niger J Exp Clin Biosci. 2014; 2:54-8.

Aletor VA. Anti-nutritional factors as nature’s paradox in food and nutrition securities. Inaugural lecture series 15, delivered at The Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA); 2005.

Poothullil JM. Oral satiation and regulation of intake. Physiology and Behavior. 1995; 57:349-352.

Morley JE. The role of peptides in appetite regulation across species. American Zoologist. 1995;35:347-445.

Wang Y, Waghorn GC, McNabb WC, Barry TN, Hedley MJ, Shelton ID. Effect of condensed tannins in Lotus corniculatus upon the digestion of methionin and cysteine in the small intestine of sheep. The Journal of Agricultural Science. 1996; 127(03):413–421.