Toxicity Studies and Effects of Momordica balsamina (Balsam Apple) Aqueous Extract on Serum Electrolytes and Plasma Trace Elements

  • Y Karumi
  • P A Onyeyili
  • V O Ogugbuaja


Graded doses of M. balsamina aqueous leaf extract were administered orally and intraperitoneally (i.p) to separate groups of rats to determine the acute toxicities. The effects of the prolonged (3 weeks) oral administration of M. balsamina aqueous extract on serum electrolytes and plasma trace elements were also tested. No toxic clinical signs were observed in the animals given the extract orally. Sixteen grams per kilogram body weight (16 g/kg) was the maximum amount that was physically administered. The i.p LD50 with confidence interval of 95% was estimated to be 3750 mg/kg. Clinical signs observed before mortality included weakness, sleepiness and depression, dilation of the pupils, urination and death within 24 hours. The extract did not produce any statistically significant change in serum electrolytes (Na+, K+, HCO3+ and Cl- ) after prolonged oral administration. However, the effects of M. balsamina extract on plasma Zn and Mn were significantly increased (p<0.001), while the plasma Cu and Cd were not significantly increased (p>0.01). It was, therefore, concluded that Momordica balsamina at low dosages is safe (not toxic).

Keywords: Acute toxicity, M. balsamina, electrolytes, trace elements

Sahel Journal of Veterinary Sciences Vol. 5 (1) 2006 pp. 13-19

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 1117-6210