In a new study scientists have tested the toxicological parameters of a medicinal plant Lauridia tetragona and found that administration of aqueous extract of L. tetragona may be safe at the dosages tested but its continuous usage can cause anorexia1.
More than 80% Africans use medicinal plants as a remedy to cure different disease due to their affordability and easy availability. The harmful and toxic effects caused different medicinal plants have also been reported previously2. Therefore, proper characterization and scientific profile of these medicinal must be evaluated to confirm their safety in usage.
Lauridia tetragona is commonly known as climbing saffron or the Bob cherry3. This plant is moderately spread across South Africa. The fruit of plant is eaten by children and by birds, while the foliage is sometimes eaten by sheep4.
Despite its usage in traditional medical practice in South Africa, there is shortage of information on the effectiveness and protection profile of this plant. A study was conducted with the aim to determine possible toxicological effects of this plant in Wistar rats1.
To accomplish this scientists collected the plant and prepare for extractions. Acute and sub acute toxicity tests were performed. Behavioral changes as well as hematological, biochemical and histological parameters were then evaluated.
It was inferred from the study that there was significant decrease in feed intake, serum glucose, lymphocytes and platelet levels of extract treated rats compared to the control. There were also some alterations in the liver and kidney function parameters. However, there were no treatment related differences in the histopathological evaluations.
The safe dosage of 50-200 mg kg–1 b.wt was determined after the experiment. The fact that there were no changes in the relative organ weight may also signify the extract did not have any deleterious effect on the integrity of the organs.
It was thus concluded that administration of aqueous extract of L. tetragona may be safe at the dosages tested but its continuous usage can cause anorexia. Further studies are also required on this plant for more features to be discovered.
Written by: Rabeeia
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17 November, 2019