Open Access, Peer Reviewed

The toxicity of Green Bitter Weed (Hymenoxys odorata) Plant Extract to the liver hepatocytes and kidney of Wistar Rats

Juma J. Ochieng’, Musa Iyiola, Buhari Mohammed, Owembabazi Elna, Ssempijja Fred, Lemuel Ann, Ayuba John

Date of Publication: 2019-10-08


Background: Medicinal plants are of great importance to health of individual and communities. About 80% of the population in Uganda rely on traditional medicine as western-trained medical personnel are limited especially in villages. Most Ugandans use Hymenoxys odorata for medicinal purposes such as in the treatment colds, fever, coughs, and anti-helminthes, locally used as tea, anti-allergy and also as anti-venom to relieve snake bites.

 Method: A group of 25 male wistar rats of 150 g–210 g were kept for 14days while being fed and administered with the extract. On the 14th day, anesthesia was given and blood samples collected through cardiac puncture for hematological and biochemical investigations. Serum was analyzed for Alkaline Phosphatase, Aspartate Transaminase and Alanine Transaminase while whole blood was used for complete blood count. The liver and kidney were removed and placed in 10% formalin to prepare for histology staining using haematoxylin and eosin technique.

Results: The extract elevated hepatic biomarker enzymes i.e. ALP, ALT and AST. The increase was found to be significantly different (P >19 0.05) at 400 and 500 mg/kg doses as compared to the control group. Histological sections of the liver showed distortion of liver cytoarchitecture, steatosis, necrosis of hepatocytes and congestion of the sinusoids at high doses 300, 400 and 500 mg/kg body weight. In the sections of the kidney, there was mild distortion of the integrity of the kidney with glomerular hypercellularity at high doses (400 and 500 mg/kg per body weight).

Conclusion: Hymenoxys odorata aqueous extract has toxic effects on the liver and kidney of wistar rats. The effects were observed to be in a dose dependent manner.


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