Crude ethanolic leaf extracts of Citropsis articulata: a potential phytomedicine for treatment of male erectile dysfunction associated with testosterone deficiency

Patrick Vudriko, Martin K. Baru, John Kateregga, James G. Ndukui


Background: Erectile dysfunction is the inability to sustain erection of the penis firm enough for sexual intercourse in males. Citropsis articulata is used locally by communities in Uganda for the management of erectile dysfunction. The current study evaluated the effect of ethanolic leaf extract of C. articulata on the serum level of testosterone and mounting frequency in Male albino rats.

Methods: The study animals were divided into four groups and the extract groups dosed daily orally with 400 mg/kg and 600 mg/kg of extract for three weeks. Sildenafil citrate (1mg/kg) and distilled water (10 ml/kg) were used as positive and negative control respectively. The mounting frequencies of the males exposed to estrus induced females rats on day (7 and 21), testosterone levels (day 21) and phytochemicals present in the extract were determined.

Results: At 400 mg/kg and 600 mg/kg, both testosterone level and mounting frequency increased significantly (p<0.05) by third week. The mean testosterone level at 600 mg/kg (2.678 ng/ml) of the extract was higher than that of group treated with 1mg/kg sildenafil citrate (2.18 ng/ml). The aphrodisiac activity of this extract may be associated with presence of saponins and basic alkaloids in the plant extract.

Conclusions: Taken together, the crude leaf extracts of C. articulata could be used as a cheap alternative for the treatment of low libido due to testosterone deficiency. However, further studies are needed on the safety profile and the identification of the molecules responsible for the biological activity of the plant extract.


Citropsis articulata, Aphrodisiac, Testosterone

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