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  1. 1

    Fertility regulating agents from plants.

    Soejarto DD; Bingel AS; Slaytor M; Farnsworth NR

    Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 1978; 56(3):343-52.

    The WHO Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction has established a 6-center program to investigate new fertility regulating agents from plants for use in humans. Establishment of the project was preceded by a comprehensive search of the literature, including the following sources: 1) articles on medical botany; 2) reports of testing crude plant extracts for fertility regulating purposes; 3) reports of in vitro effects of plant extracts; and 4) reports of a limited number of experimental studies in human subjects. The limitations of these sources of data are discussed. Information on 3000 plants was collected and computerized, using a weighting system, in order to assign priorities on the plant substances most promising for further study. The 6 centers will then procede to initiate pharmacological and chemical studies on the priority substances. Both male and female antifertility agents are included in the study. (Summary in FRE)
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  2. 2

    WHO studies plants for contraceptive properties.

    UNFPA Newsletter. 1978 Nov; 4(11):2.

    WHO's Task Force on Prostaglandins for Fertility Regulation has completed a computer search for all information on indigenous plants which have been traditionally used in different parts of the world as contraceptives. From this search, they have begun to study about 30. There are already 3 plants which show definite promise. 1 is the Mexican plant montanoa tomentosa, which is also called zoapatle. Zoapatle is an orally active uterotonic agent which seems to offer the advantage over prostaglandin of having very few side effects. A tea made with the zoapatle plant has been tested in Stockholm with good results. Some Paraguayan plants which interfere with the ovulatory process are also under study at the Research and Training Centre in Buenos Aires. And in Hong Kong, the leonorus artemesia, or Chinese mothewort, shows promise as a contraceptive. WHO hopes to get several new contraceptive agents within the next 5 or 6 years based on these studies. (FULL TEXT)
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  3. 3

    Plants to control fertility.


    World Health. 1978 Aug-Sept; 16-19.

    Although no plant has yet been scientifically shown to have fertility-regulating effects in humans, peripheral evidence warrants an organized effort in this area. And although large numbers of people in the world use plants as drugs, most notably in China, at present the only plant principles found useful in humans for conditions relating to fertility regulation - the alkaloids sparteine and pachycarpine - cannot be used in a practical way. Perhaps the most interesting agent in plants which has been extensively studied in humans is m-xylohydroquinone, isolated from the common pea. Its antifertility activity was studied in Indian women, but found to be only 60% effective. A thorough reevaluation of this agent might prove useful. The Task Force on Indigenous Plants for Fertility Regulation at WHO has initiated a collaborative effort to conduct laboratory tests on plants alleged to have fertility-regulating properties. The testing procedures are complicated, and although it is too soon to determine results, the untapped potential for development of a plant-derived, safe and inexpensive fertility-regulating agent, is significant.
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