Toxicity of Acalypha torta (Muell) leaves ethanolic extract in mice and rat

  • CN Ezekwesili
  • O Obidoa
  • OFC Nwodo
  • JO Ezekwesili-Ofili

Abstract

Herbal pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals are growing in popularity worldwide. These herbal remedies, however natural, can cause some serious damaging effects on the vital organs of the body due to inadequacy in standardization and safety regulations. A 24 hour acute toxicity study was carried out to ascertain the risk of acute intoxication of
selected doses (200 to 8,000 mg/kg body weight) of the Acalypha torta leaves ethanolic extract in mice. Subacute toxicity was also assessed following intraperitoneal administration of doses < 50% of the median lethal dose (LD50) for 28 days in Wistar albino rats. Results of acute toxicity studies of extract given intraperitoneal to albino rat gave LD50 of 562.30 mg/kg body weight. All the doses of Acalypha torta extract administered reduced appetite in all the  experimental animals used, whereas high doses, > 2000 mg/kg body weight caused loss of appetite, increased respiratory rate, convulsion and reduced responses to pains. Observed pathological changes after 28 day subacute toxicity study in rats were necrosis, follicular disorganization, inflammatory reactions, fibrosis and bronchial dilatation. These changes were seen in the liver, spleen,
brain, heart, kidney and lung sections. These findings may suggest that prolonged use of the extract could lead to organ damage.
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