Study of the embryotoxic effects of an extract of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L)
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Extracts of rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis L., have been used in folk medicine as a diuretic, an emenagogue, an antispasmodic and its aqueous extract does not present toxicity to man, presenting, however, abortive effects. In order to evaluate if this plant induces abortion and/or interferes with the normal development of the concepts, doses of 26 mg of a 30% (w/v) R. officinalis aqueous extract (13 mg solids/ml) made with leaves, flowers and stem were administered daily by gavage during two different periods of Wistar rat pregnancy. One group of animals (N = 12) received the extract from days 1 to 6 of pregnancy (preimplantation period) and another group (N = 14) received the same extract from days 6 to 15 of pregnancy (organogenic period). Control groups (N = 12) received saline in the same volume and during the same periods as their respective experimental groups. The animals were sacrificed at term. The treatment of the darns during either the preimplantation or the organogenic period did not cause significant changes in the postimplantation loss or in the number of anomalies or malformations of the term fetuses, which also showed a similar degree of development when compared with the respective controls. The percent of preimplantation loss in the group treated before embryo implantation increased, although the difference was not significant compared to the control. This result suggests that rosemary extract may present an anti-implantation effect without interfering with the normal development of the concept after implantation.