Immaculate Nabukenya, Chris Rubaire-Akiiki, Denis Mugizi, John Kateregga, Deogracious Olila and Johan Höglund
There is an intense search for new plant-derived medicines to match the ever increasing prevalence of drug resistance. Toxicity profiles of three commonly used plants against helminthosis in Uganda will support their optimum use.
Objective: To evaluate the sub-acute toxicity of aqueous leaf extracts of Tephrosia vogelii (TV), Vernonia amygdalina (VA) and Senna occidentalis (SO).
Methods: One hundred Wistar white albino rats in 10 groups were dosed orally daily with 200, 400 and 600 mg/kg of TV, VA and SO for 28 days or Goodwin’s physiological solution. Daily changes in behaviour, feed/water intake and weight (weekly) were monitored. On day 29, blood for haematology, serum for biochemical analysis and organs (lungs, liver, kidney, heart and small intestines) for histopathology were collected.
Results: Continued exposure of rats to 600 mg/kg doses of SO and VA extracts led to elevation of ALT, AST and ALP and cholesterol in the treatment groups. SO and VA at 600 mg/kg elevated urea and uric acid; depressed bilirubin while VA and TV 600 mg/kg caused the reverse. Histopathology findings (villi sloughing, pneumonitis, liver and kidney degeneration) further supported these results.
Conclusion: The very low toxicity of the aqueous leaf extracts of TV, VA and SO at high doses makes them safe at currently non-standardised doses used for animal treatment.