N Biotechnol 2011 Oct 9;28(6):684-90. Epub 2011 Mar 9.
Department of Biotechnology, Daegu University, Kyoungsan, Kyoungbook 712-714, Republic of Korea.
This study was conducted to determine the spermicidal and contraceptive efficacy of essential oil of Trachyspermum ammi on human sperm in vitro. Chemical compositions of the oil were analyzed by GC-MS. Nearly 30 compounds representing 91.39% of the total oil were identified. The minimum effective dose (MED) of essential oil of T. ammi that induced instant immobilization of human spermatozoa in vitro was 125 μg/mL. The motility was also irreversible. All of the human sperms were found to be non viable within 10 min at this concentration. The activity of acrosomal enzyme was reduced and a significant releases of 5'-nucleotidase into the surrounding medium was noted after treatment with MED concentration of essential oil, indicating the plasma membrane degradation of the sperm. The maximum number of human sperm failed to decondense when treated with MED concentration of essential oil. The morphological deformities of sperm plasma membrane were evidenced by SEM, which showed vaculation, detachment of heads and tail coiling. The present research indicates that essential oil of T. ammi possesses appreciable spermicidal potential, which may be explored as an effective constituent of vaginal contraceptive.