Effects of Russelia equisetiformis methanol and aqueous extracts on hepatic function indices
Russelia equisetiformis is a medicinal plant used by traditional healers to treat malarial, cancer and inflammatory diseases. It is also claimed to promote hair growth. Methanol and aqueous extracts of Russelia equisetiformis were administered orally to experimental rats at various doses of 100mg/kg, 200mg/kg and 400mg/kg for 28 days. At the end of the 28-day treatment, the animals were sacrificed under light ether anesthesia. The blood samples were collected separately by carotid bleeding into sterilized dry centrifuge tubes. The clear serum was separated at 2500 rpm for 10min. The effect of the extracts on hepatic function was evaluated by the assay of biochemical parameters (serum protein, total bilirubin, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). In both aqueous and methanol extract – treated animals, there was significant dose – dependent increase in total bilirubin, ALT, AST, and alkaline phosphatase levels but a significant reduction in serum protein. However, these effects were more pronounced with the methanol extract. The study showed that chronic use of both aqueous and methanol extracts of Russelia equisetiformis could impair normal liver function.