S. C. SHARMA  (Department of Pharmacology, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana (Pb.). *Present address: Department of Clinical Studies, Leahurst field Station, University of Liver-pool, Neston, Wirral, England (U.K.))


Since the dawn of history a number of species of Aloes plant have been put to varying uses. Gjerstad and Riner (1968) have described the uses of Aloes as a curative, cosmetic and bitter appetizer. They have cited evidence, where A. vera species of Aloes has been used in ringworm, eczema, arthritis, ventricular and gastric ulcers, pepto-oesophagitis, is, alopacia, tuberculosis, venereal diseases and in beauty creams, Goodman and Gillman (1965) have des-cribed Aloes as the most irritant of the anthraquinone cathartics with a property to cause pelvic congestion. Because of its latter property Aloes has been employed in varying types of amenorrhoea including that of pregnancy. However, very little is known about the efficiency of Aloes as an abortifacient. Although many species of Aloes are known yet the superiority of one species over the other has hardly been investigated. The present study was carried out to investigate the possible use of Aloes as an anti-infertility agent. Aloes indica species of Aloes was selected as a drug.

Material and Methods
Female rabbits of known fertility were used throughout this study. The animals were divided into seven groups of six rabbits each. They were caged separately and were given a rest of three weeks after weaning. Each female was exposed to two fertile bucks and the mating was confirmed from the characteristic fall of the male and alsc by the examination of vaginal smears. Group A was kept as control and received equal volumes of fluid and dispersing material. Groups B to D received 30, 60 and 120 mg/Kg body wt. of Aloes indica powder while groups E, F and G received an equal amount of Aloes indica in the form of Aloes compound tablets (Alarsin: Aloes indica-60 mg, Myrrh-60 mg, Manjista-30 mg, Loha Bhasma-30 mg, and Hurmal-30 mg. per tablet). The doses of Aloes compound tablets were calculated on the basis of Aloes indica present in each tablet. Aloes compound tablets or Aloes indica pow-der were dissolved in tap water at body temperature and Gum accacia was used as a dispersant. A total volume of 30 ml was given in each case orally through an intragastric rubber tube. The treatment was started three days before and continued for five days after mating. This


Showing the number of young ones born to each female rabbit and also the
incidence of side effects


Group No. Animal No. Litter size Side effects Fertility rate Average No. of
1 3 Nil
2 5 Nil
A 3 4 Nil 83% 3.0
4 Nil Nil
5 3 Nil
6 3 Nil
1 ‘5 Nil
2 5 Nil
3 2 Nil
B 4 3 Nil 83% 3.1
5 Nil Vaginal
6 4 Nil
1 4 Nil
2 6 G.I.D.
C 3 5 G.I.D. 100% 4.8
4 5 Nil
5 3 Nil
6 6 Nil
1 5 G.I.D.
2 6 G.I.D.
D 3 8 Nil 100% 6.0
4 6 G.I.D.
5 5 G.I.D.
6 6 Nil
1 4 Nil
2 3 Nil
E 3 5 Nil 100% 3.6
4 3 Nil
5 2 Nil
6 5 Nil
1 4 G.I.D.
2 5 Nil
F 3 5 Nil 100% 4.5
4 4 Nil
5 4 Nil
6 5 Nil
1 7 Nil
         G 2 5 G.I.D.
3 6 G.I.D. 100% .5.5
4 5 Nil
5 4 Nil
6 6 Nil


G.I.D.—Gastrointestinal disturbances.

was continued irrespective of the sale effects. All the females were observed for 35 days after successful mating.

Results and Discussion
The results of these experiments are shown in the table. The fertility rate in the control group (A) was 83% with an average of 3.0 young ones born to each female. The fertility rate in the group B was also 83′.:; in group C and D it was 100% in each group. The average number of litters born in all the three groups was 3.1, 4.8 and 6.0 respectively. The increase in litter size was significant’ in groups C and D (P = <0.05) while it was not significant in the group B (P-0.05). The fertility rate in the groups receiving Aloes compound tablets was 1001, in all the three groups (E, F & G), with an average of 3.6, 4.5 and 5.5 young ones born in each group respectively. When the results were statistically analyzed, there was a significant increase in litter size in all the three groups (P—<0.05). However the increase was not significant when the results of the groups receiving Aloes indico powder (B, C, D) and Aloes compound tablets (E, F, G) were compared. The incidence of side effects was significantly lower in the groups receiving Aloes compound tablets.

From the results it appears that Aloes indica has fertility promoting rather than antifertility property. The mechanism by which Aloes acts as a ‘fertility promoter is however not known at the moment. It could be because of its effect to cause pelvic congestion. The incidence of side effects was lower in the groups receiving Aloes compound tablets and this was probably because the other ingredients present in the Aloes compound tablets which acted as corrective.

We are grateful to M s. Alarsin Pharmaceuticals, Bombay for their generous supply of Aloes indica powder and Aloes Compound tablets. We are also grateful to Dr. G. N. Constable, M.D., Principal, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana for allowing us to carry out this study in the Department of Pharmacology.

1. Goodman, L. S. and Gillman, A.: The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, pp. 1017, 1965.

2. Gjerstad, G. and Riner, T. D.: Cur-rent status of Aloes as a Cureall. Amer. J. Pharmacy, 140: 58-64, 1968.