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Aim: Investigation of haemolytic properties of ethanolic leaf and seed extracts of Telfairia occidentalis in Wistar rats is the aim of this study.
Methods: Fresh plants of T. occidentalis and a seed pod were purchased from Oja-Oba Market in Ibadan, Nigeria and were identified by a botanist. The leaves were carefully removed from the stem and washed in running water to remove contaminants. The seeds were removed from the pod and were split opened. The white seed and the leaves were air dried at room temperature in an open laboratory space until they were completely dried and were milled into powder. The extraction was done using soxhlet apparatus and ethanol as the solvent. Fifteen (15) healthy adult male Wistar rats with body weight between 150 and 163 g were used for this study. They were randomly divided into three groups of five rats each. Animals in group 1 were administered saline solution; those in group 2 were administered T. occidentalis leaf extract while those in group 3 were administered T. occidentalis seed extract. The administration was done 12 hourly for twenty-eight days at 100 mg/kg body weight via oral route since the plant is consumed orally. At the end of the treatment, animals were fasted overnight and anaesthetized using diethyl ether. Blood samples were collected by cardiac puncture into heparinized bottles. Haematological parameters were determined using standard methods.
Results: A significant increase was observed in the PCV, Hb, RBC, MCV, WBC, lymphocyte of control animals when compared with those treated with leaf and seed extract of T. occidentalis respectively at p<0.05. However, treatment had no significant difference in the platelet of animals.
Conclusion: It is obvious from this study that consumption of the leaf and seed of T. occidentalis enhanced various heamatological parameters and would therefore improve the physiological and nutritional status of its consumers. The study has further justified the ethnobotanical use of both leaf and seed of T. occidentalis as a blood tonic and antianemic. Instead of focusing on the leaves for its haemolytic properties, the seeds can be used as well.