Sheeja Edvin Jerald, Ajeet Pandey, Papiya Bigoniya and Shilpi Singh
Momordica charantia Descourt (Cucurbetaceae) known as Karela is an extremely bitter vegetable, commonly found in India. M. charantia had reported anticancer, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, anti- inflammation and antioxidant properties. It is used as antifertility agent in folklore; however no studies have been done on its antifertility action. Anti-fertility potential of the M. charantia hydroalcoholic extracts of seed and pulp was explored on in vitro spermicidal, antiovulatory, in vivo estrogenic and anti-estrogenic activity along with uterus histopathology. Data were presented as M ± SEM and analyzed with ANOVA followed by ttest. MCHS and MCHP are tested for its antifertility activity at doses of 200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg, orally as it was found safe on acute dosing of 2000 mg/kg. Pulp extract at 1280 μg/ml concentration caused significant damage to the sperm membrane integrity as evidenced by the reduction in sperm viability and tail curling. Administration of pulp extract at 400 mg/kg dose caused significant (p < 0.001) increases in uterine weight in immature rats while co-administration with ethinylestradiol decreased the uterus weight and increased the height of luminal epithelium with stimulated glands. Pulp extract at 400 mg/kg dose also caused significant (p < 0.001) prolongation estrous cycle and diestrous phase. Among the two extracts tested at two different doses, the hydroalcoholic pulp extract of M. charantia at 400 mg/kg was found to exhibit antifertility activity may be due to rich presence of triterpenoidal glycosides, flavonoids and alkaloids.