Pharmacognostic and Lactogenic Studies of the Leaves of Stachytarpheta Jamaicensis (l.) Vahl (Verbenaceae)
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Based on the ethnomedicinal use and belief that Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (SJ) can increase milk supply in lactating women, experimental studies were carried out to determine the effect of crude methanol extract (CME) and fractions of SJ leaves on serum PRL levels.
The pharmacognostic standards, preliminary phytochemical analysis, and acute toxicity study were also carried out. The fresh leaves were collected, cleaned, air-dried, and pulverized. A photomicroscope was used in the qualitative microscopic recognition of the characteristic cell types and cell contents present in the powdered leaf.
The quantitative microscopy of the leaf of SJ showed the values of palisade ratio, stomata number, stomata index, vein-islet number, and vein termination number to be 4.42 ± 2.53, (105.67 ± 2.73, 277 ± 17.08), (28.00 ± 2.31, 21.00 ± 2.51), 15.67 ± 0.66 and 3.50 ± 0.00 respectively.
For the analytical standards; 11.85 ±0.06, 2.17 ± 0.00, 8.80 ± 0.14, 2.04 ± 0.02, 2.51 ± 0.15, 4.85 ±0.22 and 4.30 ± 0.02 were obtained for total ash, water-soluble ash, sulphated ash, acid insoluble ash, alcohol soluble extractive value, water-soluble extractive value and moisture content respectively.
The extraction process yielded 19.31 % W/W of the CME while the fractionation process yielded 36.70 % W/W, 10.00 % W/W, 26.15 % W/W and 27.80 % W/W of n-hexane fraction (HF), ethyl acetate fraction (EF), n- butanol fraction (BF) and water fraction (WF) respectively.
Lactogenesis is the initiation of lactation (milk secretion), a process of functional differentiation which mammary tissues undergo when changing from non-lactating to a lactating state.
This process is normally associated with the end of pregnancy and around the time of parturition (Wilde and Hurley, 1996).
Lactogenesis may also be defined as the onset of milk secretion and includes all of the changes in the mammary epithelium necessary to go from the undifferentiated mammary gland in early pregnancy to full lactation sometimes after parturition (Neville et al., 2001).
The literal meaning of the word is the production of milk by the mammary glands (Mifflin, 2004). Lactogenesis is the result of a series of cellular changes whereby mammary epithelia cells are converted from a non-secretory state to a secretory state. Therefore, lactogenesis is the process of milk production.
It is initiated in the postpartum period by a fall in plasma progesterone, but prolactin (PRL) levels remain high. Lactation is the secretion of milk from the mammary glands of the breast (Guyton and Hall, 2006).
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