Author(s): Akande IS, Ebuehi OA, Samuel TA, Onubogu IC, Esin H, Akande IS, Ebuehi OA, Samuel TA, Onubogu IC, Esin H
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Many people use herbal remedies for the treatment of a wide range of diseases due to the claims of their efficacies by the manufacturers. However, there is little insight as to the mode of action and possible toxic effects of these popular herbal formulations on organs such as, liver and kidney. OBJECTIVE: Hepatological, histological and renal function tests of Sprague-Dawley albino rats were investigated in order to determine the possible effects on rat kidney and liver following exposure of the physiological system to the processed herbal remedies through oral administration. METHODS: Thirty male Sprague-Dawley rats (120-170g) and divided into 7 groups were employed for this study. Six groups of 4 rats each were orally administered high dose (1.0 ml) and low dose (0.5 ml) of 'Agyanom mixture', 'Bolex bitters' and 'Remedia mixture' respectively for 15 days. The control group consisted of 6 rats given water only after acclimatization for 28 days, with food and water freely available to both groups. The rats were sacrificed, the blood samples were collected through the orbital sinus and cardiac puncture. The liver and kidney tissues for each group were also harvested. Liver and renal function test parameters were analysed. The liver and kidney from the rats were fixed in 10\% formol saline and after 72 hours, dehydrated in graded alcohol, cleaned in xylene, and embedded in paraffin. The resulting blocks were sectioned. The sections were randomized and selected sections were stained in haemotoxylin and eosin. The slides were then examined at magnification of x400. RESULTS: There were significant (p < 0.05) differences in the concentrations of serum electrolytes in all the experimental groups compared with control. Na+, K+, HCO3(2-) urea and creatinin levels increased significantly in the experimental groups. Serum alanine amino transferase (ALT), aspartate amino transferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), gamma glutamyl transpeptidase activities and bilirubin level were not significantly different (p > or = 0.05) in all the experimental groups compared with control. Histological features of mild to severe tubular necrosis were evident in the kidney tissues of all the experimental groups compared to the control, unlike in the liver tissues. CONCLUSION: Data of the present study indicate that herbal remedies such as 'agyanom mixture', 'bolex bitters' and 'remedia mixture' have adverse effects on the kidney and they might not be safe for human consumption.
This article was published in Nig Q J Hosp Med
and referenced in Journal of Drug Metabolism & Toxicology