J Herbmed Pharmacol. 2017;6(2): 49-54.
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Original Article

The toxicological assessment of ethanolic whole-plant extract of Eleucine indica in Wistar albino rats

Ette Okon Ettebong 1*, Paul Alozie Nwafor 2, Peace Edwin Ubulom 3, John Akpan Udobang 1

1 Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria
2 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria
3 Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Parasitology Unit, Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author: Email: ettebong@yahoo.com


Introduction: Eleucine indica is a medicinal plant used by the Ibibios of Nigeria in the treatment of malaria but its safety with chronic use has not been determined. This study was to evaluate the toxicological effects of the extract in adult albino Wistar rats.Methods: The rats of both sexes were randomized into 5 groups of 6 animals per group and orally administered with extract (200, 400 and 600 mg/kg) for groups 2–4, respectively. Group 1 received distilled water (10 mL/kg) orally and served as negative control while group 5 was administered with 100 mg/kg of silymarin orally. Drugs were administered on alternate days for 28 days at 09.00 am. Toxic manifestations and mortality were monitored daily and weight changes of animals were recorded every week. On day 29, after an overnight fast, the animals were weighed, anaesthetized with light chloroform. An autopsy was performed during which any macroscopic abnormalities were noted. The brain, heart, liver, spleen, kidney and lungs were weighed immediately after removal. Samples of these organs were fixed in 10% formalin and kept in that solution for further histopathological examination. Data were analysed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by Tukey Kramer multiple comparison post-test.Results: The results showed that organ weights were not affected but animal weights increased significantly (P < 0.01-0.001). Relative organ weights were not affected. The extract caused, at low doses, slight inflammation of the liver, spleen, lungs, kidneys and brain. With high dose of the extract, the spleen and lungs showed moderate inflammation. The lungs also showed moderate interstitial fibrosis.Conclusion: Based on these results, the plant has a potential to damage the lungs when used on the long term. Its use as herbal remedy should be for short periods at a time.
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Revision: 15 Feb 2017
ePublished: 28 Mar 2017
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