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The bark of the West African Pausinystalia yohimbe tree is a traditional aphrodisiac and
the source of yohimbine, a prescription drug for impotence. It appears to be modestly
effective, but it also presents numerous safety risks. The possible side effect on the
haematological parameters and histology of the hypothalamus has not been considered.
This study investigated experimentally using adult male Wistar rats, the changes in
haematological parameters and the histology of the hypothalamus due to oral
administration of the crude extract Pausinystalia yohimbe bark.
Thirty six (36) adult male Wistar rats of average weight of 200g, used for this
experiment. The animals were grouped into four (4) groups of nine (9) animals per group.
With group I serving as the control and administered distilled water. While group II, III
and IV administered 30mg/kg, 50mg/kg and 100mg/kg body weight per day of the crude
extract of Pausinystalia yohimbe bark orally respectively, for three (3) weeks.
Blood samples were collected from all the animals for the haematological studies and the
brain tissues were also collected and fixed in Bouin’s fluid and processed for histological
studies using the method of Glee’s. The photomicrographs of the tissues were taken using
an Optical Eye Piece connected to a computer system. The results showed that the
Pausinystalia yohimbe bark extract produced significant increased in the erythrocytes
count values, total protein and clothing time decrease in the leukocyte count, monocyte
and eosinophils differential counts. The extract also has excitatory effect on the nuclei of
the hypothalamus, indicating cellular hyperplasia.
Presently, there is a growing interest in the use of natural products. Various
products of plant origin are being marketed in Nigeria. They range from herbal
toothpastes to various drug supplements. Some of these herbal preparations may have
some inherent properties, which have contributed to their persistent use over the yea
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