Massularia acuminata is a plant used as a chewing stick for oral hygeine in Nigeria and its stem as well as roots are claimed to have aphrodisiac potential. Aqueous extract of Massularia acuminata stem revealed the presence of alkaloids, saponins, anthraquinones, flavonoids, tannins and phenolics .
Can Aphrodisiac Massularia Acuminata also Increase Testosterone?
Since Massularia acuminata is used as aphrodisiac, Yakubu and assistants  attempted to provide scientific evidence about its androgenic potentials. Researchers orally administered 250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg body weight of Massularia acuminata stem extract to male Wistar rats for 21 days. The evidence in this study suggests androgenic activity of the plant extract as it produced significant and dose-dependent increases in testes-body weight ratio, testicular protein, glycogen, sialic acid, cholesterol, testosterone, luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone compared to control group. Extract of Massularia acuminata may even enhance normal testicular function. A follow-up study by Yakubu et al.  confirmed aphrodisiac action of Massularia acuminata stem extract at the doses of 500 and 1000mg/kg body weight as evident by significantly improved sexual appetitive behaviour of male Wistar rats. Like in previous study, Massularia acuminata stem extract affected serum testosterone dose-dependently, with no effect at 250mg/kg body weight and 1.8 fold increase in serum testosterone at 1000mg/kg body weight compared to control group. This increase in serum testosterone might be responsible for enhanced sexual behaviour in rats. Another study  in rats reported that 50 mg/kg body weight increases testosterone more than 100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg. It therefore, appears that u-shaped curve exists in animals as 50 and 1000 mg/kg body weight increase testosterone more than other doses in-between.
Mussularia acuminata is yet another plant claimed to have aphrodisiac potential and even testosterone enhancing effect without any clinical data in available literature.
Besides aphrodisiac effect of Massularia acuminata, studies are also reporting antiseptic and anti-inflammatory activities of the plant [4-5]. These studies also justify the use of African chewing sticks in order to control the formation and activity of dental plaque which may prevent dental caries.
Massularia Acuminata Side Effects
Study evaluating toxicity of Massularia acuminata aqueous stem extract in rats reported that doses of 250-1000 mg/kg body weight caused functional toxicity of the liver of male rats and suggested that it is not safe for oral consumption at given doses .
- Yakubu, M. T., et al. “Pro‐sexual effects of aqueous extracts of Massularia acuminata root in male Wistar rats.” Andrologia (2011).
Yakubu, M. T., et al. “Androgenic potentials of aqueous extract of Massularia acuminata (G. Don) Bullock ex Hoyl. stem in male Wistar rats.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 118.3 (2008): 508-513.
Yakubu, M. T., and M. A. Akanji. “Effect of aqueous extract of Massularia acuminata stem on sexual behaviour of male Wistar rats.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2011).
Rotimi, V. O., et al. “Activities of Nigerian chewing stick extracts against Bacteroides gingivalis and Bacteroides melaninogenicus.” Antimicrobial agents and Chemotherapy 32.4 (1988): 598-600.
Aderinokun, G. A., J. O. Lawoyin, and C. O. Onyeaso. “Effect of two common Nigerian chewing sticks on gingival health and oral hygiene.” Odonto-stomatologie tropicale= Tropical dental journal 22.87 (1999): 13-18.
Taiwo, Oluronke, Hong‐Xi Xu, and Song F. Lee. “Antibacterial activities of extracts from Nigerian chewing sticks.” Phytotherapy Research 13.8 (1999): 675-679.
- Yakubu, Musa Toyin, and Babasoji Percy Omoniwa. “Effects of Aqueous Stem Extract of Massularia Acuminata on Some Liver Function Indices of Male Rats.” Iranian Journal of Toxicology 6.18 (2012): 716-722.