Cedrela odorata acts as a Contraceptive in Adult Female Mice

Author:  Angela and Christy Laxton
Institution:  Central Methodist University

The researchers wanted to find a medicinal plant that could be used in the pharmaceutical world as a contraceptive due to women looking for a safer and more effective one. According to Rainforest Remedies by Dr. Michael Balick and Rosita Arvigo (1998), Mayan women would make Cedrela odorata bark into tea and drink it three times a day for three days in order to cause sterility for one cycle. Hence, the researchers felt that this needed to be researched further to determine if it could become the contraceptive women were looking for. To assess the efficacy of Cedrela odorata as an affective contraceptive, (CD-1) female mice were administered tea made from the bark three times a day for three consecutive days, followed by copulation with male mice. The tea intercepted 92% of the pregnancies in female mice among the three experimental groups when administered orally for three days with three doses of 0.15 milliliters. All of the control group mice became pregnant when administered orally for three days with three doses of 0.15 milliliters of distilled water. No mortality and changes in the behavior were observed from pre-dose days to the postcoitum days in all the control and experimental groups. The two-tailed P value ≤ 0.0001 compared the number of pregnancies of the six experimental groups to the number of pregnancies of the two control groups. Findings demonstrated that there was a significant contraceptive efficacy of the Cedrela odorata bark made into tea at the dose of 0.15 milliliters. More research is needed to determine the length of sterility and the mechanism of the bark. This research will help meet the increasing need for population control due to no clear improvement in the effectiveness in contraceptives between 1995 and 2002 (Kost et al. 2008). Being of plant origin would allow for a relatively cheap and effective contraceptive that could become widely available and accepted.