Chronic Toxicity Studies of Aqueous Leaf Extract of Voacanga africana in Wistar Rats
Voacanga Africana stapf (Apocynaceae) leaves is being used in herbal medicine to treat leprosy, diarrhoea, generalized oedema and convulsion in children as an infant tonic and the present study was aimed at its toxicological evaluation in wistar rats. The sub-acute toxicity was evaluated after administering daily oral doses of Voacanga Africana stapf (100, 400 and 800 mg/kg) for 28 days after which the effect on anthropometric, haematological and histopathological parameters were assessed. There was a significant reduction (p<0.05) in the pattern of weight gain in the female albino rats and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) but no significant difference in the organ weight index in all selected organs. There were no gross abnormalities or histopathological changes observed among any the groups treated. The results suggest that the aqueous leaf extract of Voacanga africana can be considered relatively safe on chronic administration to rats and may cause reduction in weight gain in female rats probably due to changes in female hormones.
Keywords: Voacanga africana, toxicity, weight gain, haematology