Evaluating the health benefits of Muntingia calabura L. (aratiles) on maternal and neonatal health

Date of Publication


Document Type

Bachelor's Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biology

Subject Categories

Immunology and Infectious Disease


College of Science




Muntingia calabura, known as aratiles in the Philippines, is of great medicinal value because of the variety of health benefits it offers. The well-studied pharmacological activities it possesses include antitumor, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antibacterial, antiproliferative and antioxidant properties. However, studies on its effects on female reproductive health are lacking. Hence, this study aimed to evaluate the potential benefits of M. calabura on maternal and neonatal health and its potential estrogenic property. Sixteen (16) 8-week-old female ICR mice were divided into 4 groups: control (C), low dose (LD), medium dose (MD), and high dose (HD) groups which were given 2.0 ml distilled drinking water, 0.5 ml, 1.0 ml, and 2.0 ml leaf decoction (1g leaves boiled in 100ml distilled drinking water), respectively for 1 week before mating and 3 weeks after mating. Pregnant mice gave birth and were allowed to wean pups for 21 days during which their growth in weight and length was tracked whereas pseudopregnant mice were sacrificed to collect the uterus, liver, and kidney. Twelve (12) 21-day-old female ICR mice were distributed into 2 groups: Control (C) and High Dose (HD) which were given 0.4 mL distilled water and 0.4 ml leaf decoction (1g leaves boiled in 100 ml distilled drinking water), respectively for 1 week after which they were sacrificed to obtain the uterus for histological and gene expression analysis. Pregnancy was not enhanced by the treatment and an inhibitory effect was observed for M. calabura at HD. MD was able to induce pregnancy suggesting this as a tolerable dose to allow pregnancy. Histological analysis showed that the treatment did not induce adverse effects on the uterus, liver and kidneys. Consumption of M. calabura leaf decoction did not enhance offspring health in terms of neonatal weight and length. Estrogenic activity of M. calabura was confirmed through the expression of estrogen receptors (ERa and ERb) in the HD group which have significantly lower mean cycle threshold (CT) values than those of the C group (p0.05). Mean endometrial thickness of the juvenile female mice of the C and HD groups did not vary significantly (p>0.05). The data obtained in this study cannot strongly represent the ability of M. calabura to either improve or compromise maternal and neonatal health. Despite this, M. calabura exhibited estrogenic property.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F, Henry Sy Sr. Hall

This document is currently not available here.