A Cameroonian plant hastens the recovery of fractures

Peperomia pellucida, also known as the man to man, has long been used as a treatment for several conditions, including bone fractures in Cameroon. A study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine confirms this benefit.

  • The researchers gathered female Wistar rats, which they divided into six groups of five animals each. Four of the six groups were given injuries in the diaphysis of their femur using a drill bit. The remaining groups did not receive any injury.
  • Two groups (injured and uninjured) received the vehicle, which was distilled water. The remaining three injured groups received varying doses of P. pellucida aqueous extract (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg). The remaining uninjured group received 400 mg/kg of the extract. The treatment was given for 14 days.
  • After the treatment period, the animals were sacrificed. The researchers noted the effects of the extract on the animals’ body weight, blood, and relative weight of organs. They also evaluated the rats’ bone and serum biochemical parameters. Radiological and histological tests were performed on the femurs. The extract’s mineral content was also scrutinized.
  • The researchers noted an increase in body weight among the rats given the highest dose, while those that received low doses showed an increase in white blood cells. The lowest dose also increased bone calcium levels, which stayed within normal range in the animals that were given high doses. Radiological tests revealed the formation of a highly dense and compact fibrocartilagenous callus at the site of injury.
  • Examination of the extract’s mineral compound showed the presence of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, and potassium.

The researchers concluded that the extract’s mineral content was partly responsible for its ability to accelerate bone healing.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

Journal Reference:

Florence NT, Huguette STS, Hubert DJ, Raceline GK, Desire DDP, Pierre K, Theophile D. AQUEOUS EXTRACT OF PEPEROMIA PELLUCIDA (L.) HBK ACCELERATES FRACTURE HEALING IN WISTAR RATS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;17(188). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-1686-3

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