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Several medicinal plants have been used in traditional medicine without the required scientific data to support their claims of efficacy or toxicity. Such rampant unscientific usage has resulted in adverse toxic effects on the users. Sesbania sesban var. bicolor, Cyperus compressus and Asparagus racemosus are used in traditional medicine by the Santhal tribe in India for the treatment of intestinal helminth infections. The in vivo effects of long-term administration of these plant extracts on the spleen and intestine were studied in rodent models following Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines and are supported by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) study and by the assessment of relative organ weights (ROW) of vital organs. Delayed effects of toxicity were observed as evident by an increase in ROW of the liver, spleen, kidney and heart in satellite group (700 mg/kg) of animals treated with C. compressus root extract, and an increase in ROW of the liver in the satellite group (500 mg/kg) of animals treated A. racemosus root extract. TEM studies in animals treated with C. compressus and A. racemosus revealed dilated ER, damaged cristae and nuclear membrane, and eroded outer membrane of the spleen, and the intestinal villi were also found to be damaged. TEM of spleen in animals treated with S. sesban var. bicolor (400 mg/kg) revealed dilated ER and damaged cristae. This study suggests that despite the long-term use of these medicinal plants in traditional medicine, their toxic potential cannot be ignored.
"Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, India Section B:Biological Sciences" – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2022
Keywords: Intestine; Spleen; Traditional medicine; Transmission electron microscopy; Toxicity
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