Phytochemical and acute toxicity of ethanolic extract of Enantia chlorantha (oliv) stem bark in albino rats

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It is presumed that drugs sourced from herbs have lesser side effects than allopathic drugs. Enantia chlorantha is widely used in herbal medicine for the treatment of several ailments such as jaundice, malaria, fever, infective hepatitis, etc. However its toxicity profiles are not well documented. The effects of ethanolic extract of E. chlorantha stem bark on body weight changes, biochemical and haematological parameters as well as histology of vital organs (heart, kidneys and liver) were assessed. Also, the phytochemical constituent of the plant was analysed. Albino rats of both sexes were randomly divided into five groups (A-E) of five rats each and the ethanolic extract of E. chlorantha stem bark extract was administered by oral gavage in a single dose. Group A rats were administered 500 mg/kg of the extract, group B; 1000 mg/kg, group C; 2000 mg/kg, group D; 3000 mg/kg and group E rats received distilled water (10 ml/kg) and served as control. The extract caused significant (p<0.05) decreases in the levels of packed cell volume, haemoglobin concentration and red blood cell counts in a dose dependent manner. Further, significant alterations were not observed in the serum biochemical parameters analysed (AST, ALP, ALT, blood urea nitrogen, total protein, albumin, globulin and bilirubin). In addition, the extract at 1000, 2000 and 3000 mg/kg caused congestion in the heart and kidney of experimental rats. These results suggest that oral administration of E. chlorantha may produce severe toxic effects at relatively high doses, thus caution should be exercised in its use.

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