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Background and Objectives: Duranta erecta is used in folklore medicine for the treatment of myriad of diseases in Africa. The study was carried out to evaluate the safety of hydroethanolic leaves extract of D. erecta in experimental rats in order to ascertain its potential toxic effects. Materials and Methods: The acute toxicity study was performed by fixed dose method at 5000 mg/kg. In the subacute study performed on both male and female rats, group I (control) received 1 mL of freshly distilled water, groups II, III, IV were treated with 100, 250 and 500 mg/kg of freshly prepared extract respectively for 28 days. At the end of the study, haematological and biochemical parameters were determined. Internal organs (kidney, liver, lung, heart, spleen, stomach, testes and uterus) were weighed.
Results: 50% lethal dose (LD50) of the extract was determined to be > 5 g/kg body weight. The subacute toxicity assessment resulted in overall body weight increase, a change in relative organ weight of the liver, lung, stomach, and changes in the haematological indices such as HCT%, LYM%, RDW- SD/fL, MCHC, MCV/fL, P-LCR% and biochemical parameters namely ALT, AST, LDH and creatinine of the tested group relative to the normal. The positive activity of the extract on liver enzymes and LDH is an indication of its good hepatoprotective potential.
Conclusion: The results affirmed that the extract is safe but could cause kidney problems when used for a prolonged period.
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