Dracaena steudneri Engl. (Dracaenaceae) is a medicinal plant that is used in labour by traditional birth attendants to induce labour, relieve pain and treat various diseases; albeit no documentation. This study determined the analgesic, anti-inflammatory and oxytocic effects of the D. steudneri stem bark aqueous extract. D. steudneri stem bark was collected, authenticated, oven-dried at 45ºC for 48 h, pulverized and extracted using the decoction method. The analgesic effect of the aqueous extract was determined using the acetic acid writhing test, anti-inflammatory activity was determined using paw oedema method while oxytocic activity was determined using abortion and other standard test procedures and were tested at 12.1 24.1 and 48.2 mg/kg. The results of the analgesic study showed that the extract reduced the number of abdominal writhing between 53.51 and 92.40% at 6.02 and 48.2 mg/kg dose, respectively while the standard drug showed a reduction of 36.58% at 10 mg/kg. The anti-inflammatory results showed percentage inhibition of 18.6% (2 h), 22% (2 h) and 18.9% (6 h) at 12.1, 24.1 and 48.2 mg/kg, respectively. The in vivo oxytocic activity showed average time taken for the rats to deliver was between 20.63 h at lowest dose (12.1 mg/kg) and 8.25 h at highest dose (48.0 mg/kg) while Oxytocin the reference drug exhibited, 22 h as the average time taken for delivery.
Key words: Analgesic, oxytocic, anti-inflammatory and obstetrics.
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