Phytochemical screening and galactagogic attributes of Pergularia daemia (Forssk.) Chiov. leaf extract in lactating mice (Mus musculus)
Introduction: Pergularia daemia (Forssk.) Chiov. [PD] is used as a galactagogue by various tribes in Purulia district, India, lacks a scientific basis. Objectives: The purpose of the study was to determine whether administration of aqueous leaf extract of P. daemia can increase milk production in lactating mice and encourages development in suckling pups. Methods: 30 lactating mice (n=6 per group) with a minimum of 5 pups each were treated with the aqueous PD extract at 50, 100, 150 and 200 mg/kg body weight while the control group was administered with only distilled water. The mice were daily fed with aqueous leaf extract via gavage, which started at day 3 and continued to day 15 post-partum and milk secretion was assessed by the weight-suckle-weight method. The qualitative estimation, UV-vis analysis and GC-MS study of the leaf extract was also done for the presence of phytoconstituents. Results: Administration of aqueous leaf extract led to a considerable increase in milk production (28.1%) and the pups gained weight substantially (p<0.05) when compared to control. Milk production was enhanced in mice treated with 150 mg/kg b.wt. of leaf extract compared to other doses (p<0.05). The GC-MS analysis of the aqueous leaf extract of P. daemia revealed 20 major peaks, some with small retention time and also revealing presence of several phyto-estrogenic compounds. Conclusion: The present study effectively demonstrated that aqueous leaf extract of PD enhanced milk production in mice and might be used as an alternative strategy for increasing milk production and can be extrapolated to farm animals and human beings.