Marthe Makwena Mpongo, Didier Lusimbamo Dianzuangani, Ruth Malobo Katunda, Florent Biduaya Mukeba, Odette Ngandu Kabena and Félicien Luyeye Lukoki
Plants used by Pygmy women in Mbandaka, Equateur Province, Democratic Republic of Congo include Dissotis rotundifolia (Sm.) Triana (Melastomataceae) and Emilia sagittata (Vahl) DC. (Asteraceae) known as the scarlet gland flower, and are geographically native to parts of Africa, particularly West and East Africa, whose leaves are used for birth spacing, sexual appetite and vaginal shrinkage respectively. The use of these plants as nutraceuticals for several diseases for decades, without any scientific data on their safety is at risk, because although they are natural, they are not completely free of toxic effects or other undesirable effects, hence the evaluation of the toxic effects of these phytomedicines on red blood cells to ensure its safety. For this purpose, the hydro-methanolic extracts of the leaves were prepared by maceration and human red blood cells were used. The results obtained showed a significant hemolytic effect of these extracts, depending on the concentration and the incubation time (15 and 60 minutes). However, the concentrations of 25 and 100 mg/mL of D. rotundifolia induced 34.2 and 51.2% of red blood cell lysis while those of E. sagittata induced only 20.8 and 38.7% of hemolysis. This led to the conclusion that the hydro-methanol extracts of D. rotundifolia are more hemolytic than those of E. sagittata. In view of this finding, the application of D. rotundifolia to the mucosa would cause more damage than that of E. sagittata. However, no significant difference was observed (p>0.05), after Student's test.
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