Crescentia cujete (calabash tree) seed extract and fruit pulp juice contract isolated uterine smooth muscle tissues from Mus musculus
Mackenzie Theis, Melinda Richárd, KristIn Bell and Teresa DeGolier
Traditional Mayan healers have recommend the fruits of the calabash tree (Crescentia cujete) to force menses, birth, after birth, or trigger abortions. The purpose of this research was to directly apply either an aqueous seed extract or raw juice from the fruit pulp directly to isolated uterine tissues from Mus musculus, and evaluate the resulting smooth muscle contractile responses. The seed extracts (0.1 - 10%) increased the force and frequency of contractions when compared to the tissue’s spontaneous motility (P = 0.0575; P = 0.0048, respectively). The fruit pulp juice (50 - 500 μL) also produced increases in contractile forces (P = 0.0049) when compared to the tissue’s spontaneous motility. Changes in frequency were less remarkable (P = 0.4855). These observations collected at a reduced model of investigation support traditional claims from Mayan healers that the prescriptive consumption of Crescentia cujete fruit evokes a contractile response from the uterus.