Jatropha curcas is a versatile plant with a wide range of potential uses such as treating skin infections, stopping bleeding, and combating malaria. Using Jatropha leaves for fertility may be beneficial as a potential birth control agent, as recent studies show that the leaves have an antifertility effect.
The leaves contain two secondary metabolites known as phytol and lupeol, which have been associated with low sperm count, and a decrease in some gonadal hormones such as the levels of FSH, LH, and TST, this means using Jatropha leaves for fertility may be detrimental. Although secondary metabolites with antioxidants property are not harmful, they can be used for their pharmaceutical and cosmetic value. That is not all, there are other interesting facts about Jatropha leaves to discover as you go deeper.
Before going fully into the use of Jatropha leaves for fertility, here are brief facts about the plant at might interest you.
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Jatropha is a genus of flowering plants in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. Jatropha produces seeds after flowering, from which biofuel and biodiesel can be extracted [k1].
According to research the plants itself is of great economic value, especially for agriculture, where they can use to control soil degradation, alleviate erosion, and desertification, and increase soil fertility [k15].
The leaves of Jatropha have significant variability in their morphology. In general, the leaves are green to pale green, alternate to subopposite, and three- to five-lobed with a spiral phyllotaxis. Here are some characteristics and uses of Jatropha leaves:
Going by the physical structure, the leaves of Jatropha curcas are colored green to pale green, and hallowly divided into 3-5 rounded lobes and hairless. Its plant is perennial, with a lifespan of three to hundreds of years depending on the land it is growing on. This makes the leaves stay longer before shading.
Jatropha Leaves Uses
- The leaves are popularly used as a massage material for strained muscles.
- They can be used as brewed tea to combat malaria.
- Jatropha plant twigs are used to clean the teeth.
- The young leaves of Jatropha can be safely eaten by steaming them or cooking them.
- Powdered Jatro leaves are applied to the horse’s eyes to get rid of the flies since hydrogen cyanide is present in the leaves.
- Jatropha leaves have pesticidal and fungicidal properties, so the use of pesticides is not necessary.
- Jatropha leaves have been evaluated for their cytotoxicity and potential to inhibit the hemagglutinin protein of the influenza virus [2, 3, 4].
Some other plants Somee Jatropha over other plants include its ability to grow well on poor and infertile soil, in marginal areas, and withstand all types of climate. It also needs only a little amount of water and maintenance .
Jatropha leaves for fertility
Jatropha leaves have been studied for their antifertility properties in male Wistar rats and was noted that the leaves extract is accountable for the decrease in some of the gonadal hormones such as levels of FSH, LH, and TST, including sperm count. This was due to the presence of compounds known as phytol and lupeol, which are also secondary metabolites [k5, k6].
However, it is important to note that these studies were conducted on animals and further research is needed to determine their effects on humans. Additionally, Jatropha leaves have been found to contain secondary metabolites with antioxidant properties, which could be useful in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries [k7].
A study has also noted that Jatropha leaves may be used for the treatment of reproductive problems such as infertility [k8]. However, it is unclear whether they are effective or safe for human use. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional before using Jatropha leaves for fertility purposes.
Benefits of Jatropha Leaves for male fertility
According to research, Jatropha leaf extract can be used as a potential birth control agent, as it has been confirmed by many animal studies to lower sperm count [k9, k10]. Another study also noted that the extracts were able to suppress male reproductive function, lowering the producing spermatozoa when used as a treatment on dogs [k11].
Although there are claims that Jatropha leaf extract may be used for the treatment of reproductive problems such as infertility[k6]. However, further research is needed to determine the effects and benefits on humans.
Jatropha curcas Medicinal Uses
The medicinal benefits of jatropha leaves are numerous, the plant is widely used in traditional medicine for various purposes. Here are some of the traditional medicinal uses of Jatropha:
- Use to treat skin infections
- To stop excess bleeding
- Use as Massage material
- Use to treat Malaria
- Can be used to Repel flies
- As Contraceptive
- Stimulate hair growth
Can be used to treat skin infections
Jatropha has been used in traditional medicine to treat a wide range of ailments, including skin diseases, cancer, digestive issues, respiratory problems, and infectious diseases [k12]
Stop bleeding disorders
Use to treat Malaria
Jatropha leaves are brewed into tea and when taken can help combat malaria [k15].
As a Massage material:
The leaves of Jatropha are used as a massage material for strained muscles, the extract has anti-inflammatory properties which can help relieve muscle pain [k17].
Can be used to Repel flies
Powdered Jatropha leaves are applied to the eyes of horses to repel flies due to the presence of hydrogen cyanide in the leaves .
The nuts of Jatropha have been used as a contraceptive [k11].
Stimulate hair growth
Also, oil extract from the plants is used for skin diseases, and also to promote hair growth, and relax muscles [k18].
It is important to note that while Jatropha has been used in traditional medicine, further research is needed to validate its efficacy and safety as medicinal plants.
Having the potential to treat skin infections, and stop bleeding, Jatropha leaves contain secondary metabolites with antioxidant properties, although these metabolites have an anti-fertility propensity, they contribute to preventing infection, and healing wound injuries.
However, it is important to note that further research is needed to validate their efficacy and safety for all of the purposes listed above.
JC is passionate about finding the impact of foods (feeding habits) on human fertility and reproductive health and a way to improve fertility.