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Haematopoietic Effects of Ipomoea batatas (L) Lam. Leaf Extract on Male Wistar Rats

There are claims by traditional medicine practitioners that the leaves of Ipomoea batatas have haematinic effects and other folkloric usages in the treatment of ailments. Therefore the ethanol extract of the leaves of this plant was investigated to ascertain its effects on red blood cell, white blood cell, platelet counts and their differentials. Proximate, phytochemical and metal content analyses were also carried out on the powdered sample. Extraction was done by maceration, phytochemical, proximate and metal content analyses were carried out using standard procedures. Automated method was used to obtain the haematological indices of control and test rats. Increases in red blood cell count, haematocrit and haemoglobin were observed only at dose levels 1000 and 2500 mg/kg body weight of rats. Dose dependent reduction in lymphocyte counts and a significant reduction in mean platelet counts were observed. Proximate analysis revealed high moisture and crude protein content; phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of phytate, flavonoids, saponins, oxalate, tannins, total phenols, alkaloids and cardiac glycosides. The leaves of I. batatas contain high levels of magnesium, iron and potassium. Increases in red blood count, haematocrit and haemoglobin count infer haematopoietic effects; but reductions in lymphocytes could infer a negative effect on cellular immune response.

*1Imafidon, K. E., 2Ehibor, J. and 3Idowu, A. S. 1,2,3Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin, Edo state, Nigeria.

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