BACKGROUND : Aloe barbadensis (AB) is a short stemmed succulent medicinal herb that is being used by locals in
Nigeria to enhance libido. Therefore this study evaluates the aphrodisiac potential and acute toxicological effect of
A. barbadensis (AB) root in male Wistar rats.
METHODS : Aphrodisiac potential was determined following the oral administration of graded doses (100, 200 and
400 mg/kg) of ethanol extract of A. barbadensis root. Sildenafil citrate (Viagra) and distilled water served as positive
and negative controls respectively. Sexual behavioural parameters (mounting and intromission frequencies, mounting,
intromission and ejaculatory latencies) were observed. Serum testosterone and cholesterol concentrations were also
progressively monitored on days 1, 7 and 14. The acute toxicological evaluation of the plant were based on any onset
behavioural changes and mortality respectively.
RESULTS : The findings from the sexual behavioural study indicated that the ethanol extract of A. barbadensis significantly
increased mounting frequency and intromission frequency but significantly decreased mount and intromission latencies
in a dose dependent manner particularly on day 1 and 14. The ethanol extract also prolonged ejaculatory latency. The
testosterone and cholesterol concentrations were also increased as the dose increased particularly on day 1 and 7. The
lowest dose of 100 mg/kg showed the best aphrodisiac effect. The toxicity studies showed that there were no acute
behavioural changes with zero mortality.
CONCLUSION : The increased blood testosterone and cholesterol concentrations by the ethanol extract of A. barbadensis
can probably be said to be the possible mechanisms of action for its aphrodisiac property. The plant may also be used to
treat hypotestosteronemia following its ability to increase testosterone. These findings therefore give backing to the
acclaimed local use of A. barbadensis root as an aphrodisiac in males.