Toxicological evaluation of aqueous extract of Aloe ferox Mill. in loperamide-induced constipated rats
Human and Experimental Toxicology
Department of Botany, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa
Aloe ferox Mill. is a widely used medicinal plant in South Africa for the treatment of many ailments including constipation. The present study evaluated the toxicological effect of aqueous leaf extract of the herb at 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight for 7 days on the haematological parameters as well as liver and kidney function indices in loperamide-induced constipated rats. The extract did not cause any significant (p > 0.05) effect on the kidney and liver-body weight ratio as well as the kidney function indices including serum levels of creatinine, uric acid, urea, calcium and potassium ions at all the dosages investigated. Whereas the serum levels of total protein, albumin, bilirubin and gamma glutamyl trasferase (GGT) were not affected, the elevated activities of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) in the untreated constipated animals were normalized following treatment with extract. The data obtained with respect to the haematological analysis indicated that the extracts had no significant (p > 0.05) effect on the haematological parameters with the exception of lymphocyte count which was increased in the untreated constipated rats. This was however attenuated after administering the herb. The available evidence in this study suggests that A. ferox may be safe as an oral remedy for constipation. Generally, the effect of the extract compared favourably well with senokot, a recommended drug for the treatment of constipation. © The Author(s) 2010.
alanine aminotransferase; albumin; alkaline phosphatase; Aloe ferox extract; aspartate aminotransferase; bilirubin; calcium ion; creatinine; gamma glutamyltransferase; loperamide; plant extract; potassium ion; senokot; unclassified drug; urea; uric acid; alanine aminotransferase blood level; albumin blood level; alkaline phosphatase blood level; Aloe; Aloe ferox; animal experiment; animal model; aqueous solution; article; aspartate aminotransferase blood level; body weight; calcium blood level; constipation; controlled study; creatinine blood level; drug safety; enzyme activity; gamma glutamyl transferase blood level; hematological parameters; kidney function; kidney mass; liver function; liver weight; lymphocyte count; male; nonhuman; plant leaf; potassium blood level; priority journal; protein blood level; rat; toxicity testing; urea blood level; uric acid blood level; Aloe; Animals; Body Weight; Constipation; Disease Models, Animal; Kidney; Kidney Function Tests; Liver; Liver Function Tests; Loperamide; Lymphocyte Count; Male; Organ Size; Plant Extracts; Plant Leaves; Rats; Rats, Wistar; Toxicity Tests; Aloe ferox; Animalia; Rattus