Spathodea campanulata P. Beauvois (Bignoniaceae) is a tree from the tropical and subtropical forests of Africa, used in folk medicine for the treatment of several diseases such as gastric pain, rheumatism, lumbago, cataracts and some intestinal parasites. In West Cameroon, traditional healers use a decoction of the bark of the trunk as an aphrodisiac in males. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the aphrodisiac activity of the aqueous extract of the trunk barks of S. campanulata in male rats. The male rats were divided into five lots: A, B, C, D and E of six animals each. Lot A received 5 ml/kg of distilled water daily for 8 days (negative control). Lot B received 5 mg/kg of Sildenafil Citrate (Viagra®) daily for 8 days (positive control). Lots C, D and E received 200, 400 and 800 mg/kg, respectively of the aqueous extract of the trunk barks of S. campanulata daily for 8 days. On the first, fourth and eighth day of administration, the copulatory parameters were observed and recorded. The extract induced an increase in erectile function stimulation through the significant increase (p<0.001) in the number of erections, the frequency of mount and a decrease in mount latency, reflecting an increase in sexual stimulation; an increase in the frequency of intromission (p<0.001) and a decrease in intromission latency, reflecting a stimulation of sexual performance. There was also an increase in ejaculation frequency and ejaculation latency (p<0.001). These results indicate a pro-ejaculatory aphrodisiac potential of the aqueous extract of the trunk barks of S. campanulata in male rats and would justify the empirical use of this plant in the treatment of erectile dysfunction in humans, in traditional medicine.
Key words: Spathodea campanulata, aqueous extract, erectile dysfunction, aphrodisiac, male rat.
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