Fadogia agrestis plant
July 2 2014 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Fadogia agrestis herb is used in Nigeria as an aphrodisiac. Fadogia contains alkaloids and saponins while anthraquinones and flavonoids are present in small amounts. Human studies with this herb are not available as of 2013.

Aphrodisiac potentials of the aqueous extract of Fadogia agrestis stem in male albino rats.
Asian J Androl. 2005. Yakubu MT. Medicinal Plants Research Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.
To evaluate the phytochemical constituents and the aphrodisiac potential of the aqueous extract of Fadogia agrestis (Rubiaceae) stem in male albino rats. Male rats were orally dosed with 18 mg/kg, 50 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg body weight, respectively, of the Fadogia agrestis extract at 24 h intervals and their sexual behavior parameters and serum testosterone concentration were evaluated at days 1, 3 and 5.  All the doses resulted in significant increase in mount frequency, intromission frequency and significantly prolonged the ejaculatory latency (P 0.05) and reduced mount and intromission latency (P 0.05). There was also a significant increase in serum testosterone concentrations in all the groups in a manner suggestive of dose-dependence. The aqueous extract of Fadogia agrestis stem increased the blood testosterone concentrations and this may be the mechanism responsible for its aphrodisiac effects and various masculine behaviors.

How safe is it? Toxicity, risk
Human Exp Toxicology. 2009. Mode of cellular toxicity of aqueous extract of Fadogia agrestis stem in male rat liver and kidney. Phytomedicine and Toxicology Research Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. The mode of cellular toxicity of aqueous extract of Fadogia agrestis stem in male rats was investigated. Rats were grouped into four: A, B, C and D where A (the control) received orally 1 mL of distilled water; B, C and D (test groups) received orally 18, 50 and 100 mg/kg body weight of the extract, respectively, for 28 days. Clinical toxicity symptoms such as respiratory distress, epistasis, salivation, hypo- and hyperactivity were not observed at any period of the experiment. No mortality was also recorded. Extract administration significantly reduced the activities of alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase and gamma glutamyl transferase in the liver and kidney with corresponding increases in the serum. Serum malondialdehyde also increased significantly in all the extract-treated groups. The liver and kidney body weight ratios of the extract-treated animals compared well with their controls throughout the experimental period. The extract did not cause any swelling, atrophy or hypertrophy of the organs. The other evidence in this study suggests disruption of the ordered lipid bilayer of the plasma membranes of the hepatocytes and nephrons. This might have resulted from peroxidation of the polyunsaturated fatty acids on the membranes of the hepatocytes and nephrons made possible by the functional groups or the product of metabolism of the extract. This may be responsible for the compromise of the integrity of the plasma membranes of the hepatocytes and nephrons.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2008. Effects of oral administration of aqueous extract of Fadogia agrestis stem on some testicular function indices of male rats. Medicinal Plants Research Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. The effects of administration of aqueous extract of Fadogia agrestis stem on some testicular function indices of male rats (Rattus norvegicus) and their recovery potentials for 10 days were investigated. Rats were grouped into four: A, B, C and D where A (the control) received orally 1 ml of distilled water (the vehicle), B, C and D (the test groups) received orally on daily basis graded doses of 18, 50 and 100mg/kg body weight of the plant extract, respectively, for 28 days. Compared with the control, extract administration for 28 days at all the doses resulted in significant increase in percentage testes-body weight ratio, testicular cholesterol, sialic acid, glycogen, acid phosphatase and gamma-glutamyl transferase activities while there was significant decrease in the activities of testicular alkaline phosphatase, acid phosphatase, glutamate dehydrogenase and concentrations of protein. Recoveries were made by the animals on some of the testicular function indices mainly at 18 mg/kg body weight. The alterations brought about by the aqueous extract of Fadogia agrestis stem are indications of adverse effects on the male rat testicular function and this may adversely affect the functional capacities of the testes. The recovery made at the dose of 18 mg/kg body weight as used in folklore medicine suggests that it does not exhibit permanent toxicity at this dose.

Composition
Six monoterpene glycosides were isolated from Fadogia agrestis. Their structures were established as being derivatives of 2,6-dimethyl-2(E),6(Z)-octadiene-1,8-diol containing from two to four units of rhamnopyranose and, three of them, one or two additional units of glucopyranose.

Other species
J Ethnopharmacol. 2012. Antidiabetic, anti-oxidant and antimicrobial activities of Fadogia ancylantha extracts from Malawi.

Triterpenoids isolated from the leaves of Fadogia tetraquetra include 3beta-hydroxy-11alpha, 12alpha-epoxyoleanan-28,13beta-olide, 3beta-hydroxyurs-11-en-28,13beta-olide, oleanolic acid, and ursolic acid.

Saponins together with four polyphenolic compounds, have been isolated from the fermented and dried leaves of Fadogia ancylantha (Makoni tea).

In rural areas of Burkina Faso many use traditional medicine and medicinal plants to treat usual diseases. In the course of new antimalarial compounds, an ethnobotanical survey has been conducted in different regions. Seven plants, often cited by traditional practitioners and not chemically investigated, have been selected for an antiplasmodial screening: Pavetta crassipes, Acanthospermum hispidum, Terminalia macroptera, Cassia siamea, Ficus sycomorus, Fadogia agrestis and Crossopteryx febrifuga.