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Revista Brasileira de Plantas Medicinais

Print version ISSN 1516-0572


ARRUDA, J.T. et al. Effect of aqueous extract of chamomile (Chamomilla recutita L.) on rat pregnancy and offspring development. Rev. bras. plantas med. [online]. 2013, vol.15, n.1, pp.66-71. ISSN 1516-0572.

Medicinal plants have active substances and their toxic effect on the organism is often unknown or ignored by users. Chamomile has been widely used by the population; however, it is contraindicated for pregnant women due to evidence of its emmenagogue and relaxing activity on smooth muscles. For these reasons, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of aqueous extract of chamomile on pregnancy and generated offspring. Nine Wistar rats were divided into three groups, D1 and D2, which received chamomile infusion at 5% and 10%, respectively, and the control group which received saline solution. Treatments were administered from the 1st to the 7th day after breeding. The studied parameters were abortion prevalence, maternal weight gain during pregnancy, fetal and maternal death, gross fetal malformation, newborn number, weight and neurological reflexes of the offspring on the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 10th days of life. There was pregnancy in 70% of control group, 40% of D1 and 80% of D2. There was no difference in maternal weight gain on the 7th and 21st days; however, treated groups had smaller weight gain, compared to control, on the 14th day of pregnancy (p=0.04). The differences among newborn numbers were not significant. As to weight of newborns, treated animals had smaller weight gain on days 1, 3, 5 and 10 after birth (p=0.005; p=0.001; p<0.001; p<0.001; respectively). For neurological effects, there were differences in postural reflex on the 1st day, resulting in acceleration; on the other hand, for grasp (p=0.006) and orienting reflex (p=0.01), there was a delay in disappearing, and no changes occurred on the remaining days for the other assessed parameters. Chamomile may influence maternal weight gain during pregnancy, as well as offspring weight gain after birth, and may cause changes in neurological reflexes. There was no alteration in the remaining studied parameters.

Keywords : plants during pregnancy; chamomile; teratogenesis.

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