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Research Paper Open Access
The present study was conducted to evaluate the hepatoprotective effects of the Centella asiatica extract in carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury in rats. Sprague Dawley rats were treated with alcohol extract of Centella asiatica orally in two doses (20 and 40 mg/kg/day) for 3 mo along with intraperitoneal injection of carbon tetrachloride (1 ml/kg). Biochemical parameters such as serum total protein, albumin and marker enzymes (aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase) were estimated both before and after the experiment. Histopathological studies of liver were also carried out to confirm the biochemical changes. Carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxic effects were evident by a significant (p < 0.05) increase in the serum marker enzymes and a decrease in the total serum protein and albumin. Administration of extract of Centella asiatica effectively inhibited these changes in a dose-dependent manner; maximum effect was with 40 mg/kg. Histopathological examination of liver tissue corroborated well with the biochemical changes. Hepatic steatosis, hydropic degeneration and necrosis were observed in carbon tetrachloride-treated group, while these were completely absent in the treatment group. Centella asiatica extract exhibited hepatoprotective action against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury. This effect is attributed to the presence of asiaticoside (14.5%) in the extract.