T. G. Okereke*, E. C. Egwim, H. A. Muhammad, O. M. Onyeonoro and M. A. Dickson
The seed and leaf of Datura metel known to contain the psychoactive substance atropine and scopolamine, also contain hyoscyamine which is classified as deliriants or anti-cholinergics used as hallucinogens. Most parts of the plant have been used over the years for both medicinal and psychoactive purposes. This study was aimed at evaluating the sub-chronic toxicity of the seed extract of Datura metel on selected liver and kidney parameters and Packed Cell Volume (PCV). Twenty rats were used for the subchronic study and were grouped into 5 groups of 4 rats each. Control group was administered 0.5 ml of normal saline while the other groups were orally administered 300, 1600, 2900 and 5000 mg/kg body weight of extract for 28 days. There was significant (p<0.05) reduction in PCV in all test groups when compared to the control group. The groups administered 1600, 2900, 5000 mg/kg bodyweight showed significant (p<0.05) increase in sodium, chloride and potassium. There was significant (p<0.05) increase in serum total and conjugated bilirubin, and aspartate aminotransferase in groups administered 300 and 1600 mg/kg bodyweight while the groups administered 2900 and 5000 mg/kg bodyweight showed significant (p<0.05) reduction. The findings from this study have demonstrated that seed extract of D. metel might be deleterious to the red blood cells and may affect liver and kidney function.