Potentials of Phyllanthus amarus, Viscum album and Moringa oleifera supplements to mitigate heat stress in female rabbits in humid tropics

Abubakar Jimoh*, Blessing Olakanye, Ayoola Ajewole, Saanu Akinbuyide, Johnson Adetifa, Abdul Quadri Jimoh, Adewale Mayowa, Feyisayo Adesina
Author Information & Copyright
1Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti, Ado EKiti 5351, Nigeria.
*Corresponding Author: Abubakar Olatunji Jimoh, E-mail:

© Copyright 2022 Korean Society of Animal Science and Technology. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Global warming is a key challenge subjecting animals to heat stress conditions resulting in multiple physiological alterations in tropical climate. Dietary approach seems to be the more friendly approach to curb the adverse effects of heat stress in rabbits. Some herbs have been categorized to have high potential for promotion of immune responses for amelioration of heat stress. Thus, this research aims to evaluate the potential of Mistletoe (<italic>Viscum album), </italic>Moringa<italic> (Moringa oleifera) </italic>and Phyllanthus<italic> (Phyllanthus amarus) </italic>leaf meal as herbal supplements for the alleviation of heat stress in female rabbits by measuring improvement in sex and stress hormonal responses in serum biochemistry. 80 Rabbit does were exposed to 4 dietary groups supplemented with each of Mistletoe, Moringa, Phyllanthus and a control in an 84-day trial at the summit of thermal stress in South west Nigeria. Growth indices were monitored throughout the study, blood samples were compiled at the end of the trial to assess serum biochemistry, stress and sex hormonal responses of the Does using standard protocols. The results revealed that  final weight and weight gain of Does fed on Phyllanthus were significantly (p&lt;0.05) higher (11.46% and 14.25%, respectively) than Does on on control. The herbal supplements enhance glucose, protein, albumin and globulin, reduced cholesterol, and creatinine of Does under heat stress conditions.   Among the herbal treatment groups, mistletoe, moringa and phyllanthus had 12.42%, 18.39% and 16.90%, respectively, lower corticosterone than control groups which had 39.76ng/ml. Triiodothyronine of Does fed control were significantly (p&lt;0.05) lower than Does on <italic>Moringa oleifera</italic> and <italic>Phyllanthus amarus </italic>supplements. Estradiol and Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) of rabbit Does fed on moringa supplement were significantly (p&lt;0.05) higher other treatments. In conclusion, the herbal supplements tend to mitigate the detrimental outcome of thermal stress on Does by suppressing stress hormones. <italic>Moringa oleifera</italic> and <italic>Phyllanthus amarus </italic>enhanced sex hormones while <italic>Phyllanthus amarus </italic>confered growth promoting effects on the Does.

Keywords: Heat-stress; Rabbits; herbal supplements; nutritional intervention; Phytogens