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Title Page

1.1       Background Knowledge
1.2       Justification of Study
1.3       Aim and Objectives of the Study
1.4       Hypothesis

2.1       General Description of the Family Dracaenaceae
2.1.1    Description of the Genus Dracaena
2.1.2    Description of Dracaena arborea
2.1.3    Ethnobotanical and Medicinal uses of Dracaena arborea
2.1.4 The Traditional Uses of Dracaena arborea in Male Infertility
2.1.5    Chemical Constituents and Biological Activities of D. arborea Extracts
2.2       Male Infertility
2.2.1    Traditional method of Treating male Infertility
2.2.2    Plants Used in the Treatment of Male Infertility
2.2.3    Nigerian Plants used in Male Infertility
2.2.4    Chemical Constituents Isolated from Some Plants Used In Male Infertility Treatment

3.0       Materials and Methods
3.1       List of Equipment
3.2       List of Chemicals, Reagents, Solvents and Bacteriological Media
3.3       Collection, Identification and Preparation of Plant Materials
3.4       Evaluation of Pharmacognostic Characters of the Leaves of D. arborea
3.4.1 Evaluation of Microscopic Properties of D. arborea Quantitative Leaf Microscopy of D. arborea Qualitative Leaf Microscopy of D. arborea
3.4.2 Evaluation of Physicochemical Parameters in Powdered Leaf of D. arborea
3.4.4 Determination of Microbial contaminants in the Leaves of D. arborea
3.5 Phytochemical Studies of the leaves of D. arborea
3.5.1 Extraction of Powdered Leaves of D. arborea
3.5.2 Thin Layer Chromatographic Studies of D. arborea
3.6 Biological Studies of Aqueous Methanol Leaf Extract of D. arborea
3.6.1 Acute toxicity studies of Aqueous Methanol Leaf Extract of D. arborea
3.6.2 Evaluation of Pro-fertility effects of Aqueous Methanol leaf Extract of D. arborea Experimental Animals Experimental Design Sperm Function Analysis Determination of Sperm Count Determination of Sperm Motility Determination of Sperm Viability Determination of Sperm Morphology Statistical Analysis

4.1 Evaluation of Pharmacognostic Characters of the Leaves of D. arborea
4.1.1 Quantitative Leaf Microscopy
4.1.2 Qualitative Leaf Microscopy
4.1.3 Chemo-Microscopy of the Leaf of D. arborea
4.2 Evaluation of Physicochemical Parameters of the Leaf of D. arborea
4.3 Determination of Microbial Contaminants
4.4 Phytochemical Studies of Leaves of D. arborea
4.4.1 Extraction of Powdered Leaves of D. arborea
4.4.2 Thin layer Chromatographic Studies of D. arborea
4.5 Biological Studies of Aqueous Methanol Leaf Extract of D. arborea
4.5.1 Acute- Toxicity Studies of Aqueous Methanol Leaf Extract of D. arborea
4.5.2 Sperm Function Analysis of Aqueous Methanol Leaf Extract of D. arborea in Male Wistar Rats

5.0       DISCUSSION

6.1       Summary
6.2 Conclusion
6.3       Recommendations


The plant Dracaena arborea (Willd) Linn is a member of the Dracaenaceae family. It grows abundantly in western Nigeria where its leaves are used as traditional herbal treatment for male infertility and as aphrodisiacs and also in the treatment of gonorrhoea, viral ailments like small pox, chicken pox, and measles, epilepsy and stomach troubles. This work was aimed at providing some pharmacognostic standards for the leaf of Dracaena arborea (Willd) and also to provide a scientific rationale for the traditional use of the plant in treatment of male infertility. Standard Pharmacognostic methods were used to conduct microscopic studies of the leaf and also biological activities of the leaves were evaluated. The physicochemical characters such as the ash values, extractive values, moisture content tannins content, swelling index, foaming index, microbial contaminants of the leaf of D. arborea were evaluated according to the methods in the WHO manual (1998). Acute toxicity studies was carried out using the method of Lorke (1983) and the Pro-fertility evaluations for sperm count, motility, viability and abnormal morphology of the methanol extract on male wistar rats was done according to the protocols of Saalu et al (2007) and WHO (1999).The leaf is amphistomatic with anomocytic stomata measuring 36.00 µm in length and 24.20 µm in width with no trichomes. The stomatal number was (10.40-

12.20-14.00) at the upper epidermis and (46.30-54.50-62.70) at the lower epidermis. The stomatal index was (7.80-9.20-10.60) at the lower epidermis and (1.30-1.50-1.70) at the upper epidermis. The palisade ratio was (5.60-6.60-7.60). The powdered leaves had a moisture content of 3.89 ± 0.61 %. The total ash, acid insoluble ash and water soluble ash values were 14.78 ± 0.61 %, 0.53 ± 0.23 %, and 11.22 ± 0.48 % respectively. The alcohol extractive value was 1.13 ± 0.35 % and water extractive value was 1.29 ± 0.13 %.The swelling index was 5.60 ± 0.13 ml and foaming index was less than 100(<100 14="" 4.42="" 6="" aerobic="" and="" aqueous="" bacteria="" cfu="" count="" extract="" for="" fungi.="" in="" methanol="" ml="" of="" plant="" present="" quantity="" relatively="" safe="" span="" tannins="" the="" total="" was="">50 >5000 mg/kg) after oral administration to adult male wistar rats. The sperm function analysis conducted with the extracts on adult male rats showed a significant (p<0 .05="" 14="" 28="" a="" able="" after="" also="" an="" and="" as="" been="" compared="" controls.="" count="" days="" difference="" for="" has="" i="" in="" increase="" leaf="" morphology="" motility="" no="" of="" pharmacognostic="" provide="" significant="" sperm="" standards="" study="" the="" there="" therefore="" this="" to="" treatment.="" treatment="" viability="" was="" with="">D. arborea and that the leaves have pro-fertility activity in male wistar rats which suggests the scientific evidence for the traditional use of the leaves of the plant in the improvement of male fertility.


1.0              INTRODUCTION

Plants have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years by humans (Watcho et al., 2009). It is estimated that 80% of the population in developing countries continue to use medicinal plant and plant products in handling primary medical problems due to their accessibility, availability and affordability (Fonge et al., 2012).

Interest in medicinal plants as a re-emerging health aid has been fuelled by the rising costs of prescription drugs in the maintenance of health and the search for new plant-derived drugs as a potential alternative to combat the problems of drug resistance by micro-organisms and as a cheaper and safer alternative to chemical drugs (Soetan and Aiyelaagbe, 2009).

Infertility is a common problem affecting perhaps one in six couples and a large proportion of childless couples are confronted with social stigmatization and personal frustration (Nantia et al., 2009).

Male infertility represents the commonest single defined cause of infertility and amongst the methods used to treat male infertility, medicinal plants have been used. These medicinal plants are used in the treatment of dysfunction of the libido, erection and sperm disorders (Nantia et al., 2009).

A variety of plants are claimed to be used as male fertility enhancers in traditional medicine and biological activities of some of these plants have been shown in some animal and human studies, some of these plants include Sesamum radiatum (Schum. and Thonn.), Cissus populneas L., Tribulus terretris L., Asparagus recemosusWilld., Gingko biloba L., Moringa oleifera Lam., Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal, Mucuna prureins (L.) DC., Lophira lanceolata van Tiegh., Phoenix dactylifera......

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