Objective: This study was undertaken to evaluate the histotoxicity of a polyherbal drug composed of Allium sativum bulbs, Zingiber officinale rhizomes, Cassia tora leaves extracts in a mixture of ethanol, bee honey and lime juice. Methods: Acute toxicity of the polyherbal drug was evaluated on Swiss albino mice by feeding with graded doses of the drug in the ranges of 1.0 g to 20.0 g/kg body weight (bwt) orally and observed continuously for the first 4 hrs and hourly for the next 12 hrs, then 6 hourly for 56 hrs. Wistar rats were also fed with different doses of the drug for 30 days and the effects of the drug on vital tissues – liver, kidney, testes and heart were assayed histologically, biochemically and haematologically in sub-chronic toxicity model.
Results: The LD of the polyherbal medicine was 13.8g/kg bwt. No significant increase in body weight in 50 the treated groups. The drug had some deleterious effects on the liver and testes in which significant necrotic effect was observed in the hepatic parenchyma with severe hepatocytes vacuolization and sinusoidal congestion. The testes exhibited depletion in cellular mass of spermatogenic cells. Aspartate aminotransferases (AST) and creatinine levels showed insignificant increase while alanine aminotransferases (ALT) increased markedly. The drug significantly reduced (p≤0.05) plasma glucose and low density lipoprotein (LDL-cholesterol) levels, but increased high density lipoprotein (HDL–cholesterol) in the treated rodents.
Conclusion: Although the drug has some health benefits, it should be taken with precaution because of its potential toxic effect on liver and testes.