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Nigerian Researchers Discover Herb To Stop Abnormal Breast Milk Production

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Justina Asishana
Justina Asishana is a Nigerian from Edo state. She is a data and investigative journalist who also fact-checks. She covers health, agriculture, education and governance

NIGERIA: Nigerian Researchers have discovered a herb that can stop unnecessary and abnormal breast milk production in women.

The herb, which is the aqueous extract of the bush banana root can reduce prolactin secretion by restoring the synthesis and secretion of prolactin antagonist.

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This was contained in a published study in a journal called Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

This research was published on January 21st 2021 by Taiwo H. Fayemo (Ph.D) and supervised by Professor Musa T. Yakubu (Supervisor) in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Ilorin.

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Breast Milk Production in Women

Lactation or milk production is the process of producing milk which is mainly enhanced by prolactin hormone and is commonly observed in pregnancy or childbearing in women.

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Studies have also shown that it is also possible to produce breast milk without pregnancy or breastfeeding, a condition which is called galactorrhea.

Galactorrhea is a result of excessive production of a hormone chemical in the body called prolactin.

The excessive production of prolactin might result from medications like those used in the treatment of hypertension, stomach ulcer and mental illnesses, abortion, breast stimulation and brain tumours.

There seems to be no known way of managing this situation as the management option which includes the use of drugs like bromocriptine or surgery is usually associated with some adverse effect.

The Herb

The aqueous extract of the bush banana root is known scientifically as Uvaria chamae root (finger root or bush banana).

In Nigerian languages, it is known as Eruju in Yoruba,  Afuru-agu (Igbo), and Kaskaifi Hausa.

This herb is claimed to be used in the folk medicine of Nigeria for the management of excessive production of prolactin without scientific study. 

According to the research, the aqueous extract of the bush banana root contains fifteen amino acids.

Some of the amino acids include sodium (Na), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), kelvin (K) and phenolics which were present in abundant while vitamin B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) and B9 (folic acid) were in high percentage.

The research further showed that the plant extract was able to restore the production of prolactin antagonist (dopamine).

This, according to the study, is necessary to inhibit the secretion of prolactin to stop breast milk production.

More so, aqueous extract of bush banana root ameliorated drug-induced (chlorpromazine) changes in the liver and kidney function indices.

Tthe Researchers also pointed that the effect seen on the new drug is one of observed to be as a result of the secondary metabolites, vitamins and minerals present in the aqueous extract of bush banana roots.

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