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Effects of Lepidium meyenii Walp and Jatropha macrantha on Blood Levels of Estradiol-17β, Progesterone, Testosterone and the Rate of Embryo Implantation in Mice

L. meyenii Walp is a root vegetable that only grows in the Peruvian Andes at elevations higher than 4,000 m, while J. macrantha is sap collected from trees that grow naturally in the Peruvian Andes. Because they are crude drugs, there are slight differences in components and compositions depending on where they are grown and when they are harvested. Both crude drugs have been widely used as folk medicines in Peru and have been administered to treat impotence, climacteric disorders and infertility in Europe and America. However, no reports have investigated administration of these natural substances to animals or determined changes in sex steroid hormone levels and rates of embryo implantation. Therefore, we conducted the present study to investigate whether these crude drugs are also effective in animals.

The level of estradiol-17β and progesterone measured in female mice, and the level of testosterone was measured in male mice. Three week-old ICR mice were divided into the following four groups: Control group, L group (only L. meyenii Walp was administered), J group (only J. macrantha was administered) and LJ group (both L. meyenii Walp and J. macrantha were administered). Each group consisted of ten mice, and prior to the study, mice were acclimatized for seven days in the same cage (room temperature: 22 ± 3ÆC, humidity: 60%, light: 14 hr, darkness: 10 hr). The crude drugs were administered for 30 days.