Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research

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Assessment of oral safety profile of aqueous extract blend of three medicinal spices in Wistar rats

G.A. Otunola, A.J. Afolayan


Purpose: To evaluate the possible toxicity of a blend of three spices, namely, garlic (Allium sativum), ginger (Zingiber officinale) and cayenne pepper (Capsicum frutescens) in Wistar rats

Methods: For acute toxicity test, five females and five male rats were given a single oral dose of 5000 mg/kg body weight of aqueous extract of the spice blend and observed for 14 days. Sub-acute toxicity was assessed by giving male and female rats 200, 500 and 1000 mg/kg body weight oral doses of the spice blend on a daily basis for 28 days, while controls were administered distilled water. At the end of the experiment, blood and tissues were collected for haematological, biochemical and histological evaluations.

Results: The haematological indices of treated rats did not reveal any significant (p > 0.05) differences from those of control except for elevation in lymphocyte count which was significant (p < 0.05) in the 500 and 1000 mg/kg treated male groups. Activities of serum alkaline phosphatise (ALP), gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST) and creatine kinase (CK), as well as concentration of total cholesterol and triglycerides were significantly reduced (p < 0.05) following treatment with the extract of the spice blend. Histological examinations of the liver did not reveal any pathological changes attributable to treatment with the spice blend extract.

Conclusions: These findings indicate that oral consumption of a spice blend of garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper in humans may be safe.

Keywords: Spice blend, Toxicity, Histology, Marker enzymes, Medicinal, Safety profile
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