The Mechanism of Action and Effect on the Cervix of the Seed of Ricinus communis Var. Minor (RICOM-1013-J) in Women Volunteers in Nigeria

Usar Joseph Iornmube, Ekwere Okon Ekwere, Rosaleen Thecla McNeil, Okwuasaba Kanayo Francis


The seeds of Ricinus communis var minor (RICOM-1013-J) have been reported to prevent conception for a year, when taken as single oral dose of 2.5-2.7 gm. This study was undertaken to investigate the possible hormonal changes mediating its activity and also evaluate any potential relationship with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in women. Sixty women volunteers attending a traditional herbal clinic in Jos, were recruited for this study and divided into treatment and control groups of 30 each. The study showed that RICOM-1013-J protected women participants against conception for a duration of 12 months, while maintaining regular menstrual cycles. Nausea, vomiting, weight gain, raised blood pressure and menstrual abnormalities commonly experienced with conventional oral contraceptive were absent. Further findings revealed a statistically significant elevation in plasma levels of prolactin in women administered RICOM-1013-J compared to controls (p<0.05). However, there was no significant difference in FSH and LH plasma levels between both groups. In addition, the prevalence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia between women who received RICOM-1013-J and control group was not statistically significant (p>0.05). It is possible therefore, that RICOM-1013-J may act in part through an oestrogen induced hyper- prolactinaemic hypogonadal mechanism. This study has provided the first insight of hormonal changes in human volunteers administered RICOM-1013-J as contraceptive agent.

Key words: Ricinus communis; antifertility; oestrogenic; ovary; hyperprolactinaemia; intraepithelial neoplasia;

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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