This study investigates the abortifacient potential of aqueous seed extract of Alligator pepper (zingiberaceae Aframomum Melegueta) in pregnant rats. In a bid to achieve this objective, seven female rats were paired with seven male rats of proven fertility from an initial pilot study. After pregnancy was achieved, the males were removed and female rats 1 – 5 served as the experimental group while female rats 6 and 7 served as the control group. The experimental group receives 2ml/kg single dose of alligator pepper extracts intra-peritoneal at the 4th day while the control was given 2ml/kg distill water orally. Thereafter, the weights of the animals were monitored for the next 17 days. The group fed aqueous seed extract of Alligator pepper showed weight loss in the 2nd trimester (206.40±36.77g) compared to weight in the 1st trimester (215.20±41.99g) but then gain weight again in the 3rd trimester while the control had a progressive weight gain. At the end of pregnancy, while the control produced litters, the experimental rats did not produce any litter. The results of this study showed that aqueous seed extract of Alligator pepper is abortifacient and this was noted in the 2nd trimester. There is therefore need to communicate the danger pregnant women are exposed to, when this substance is used as an ingredient in food or served during religious rites and cultural practices.
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