Phytochemical screening and Safety evaluation of hydroalcoholic extract of Dendrophthoe falcata Ettingsh: Summary of acute and subacute toxicological data  

By Shakti Prasad Pattanayak, Papiya Mitra Mazumder


The hydroalcoholic extract (HEDF) from the aerial parts of the hemiparasitic plant D. falcata, was evaluated for acute and subacute toxicity with the hope that the results would provide information on the safety of this extract prior to the evaluation of its efficacy in humans. In rats, single intraperitoneal injections of HEDF (1.0 – 2.5 g/kg) induced a regular dose-dependent increase in the death rate and incidence of general behaviour adverse effects. In sub acute toxicity studies, three doses of 250, 475 or 950 mg/kg/day of HEDF were administered orally for a period of 28 days. Phytochemical analysis revealed that polyphenols, terpenes and steroids were major compounds. The LD50 value after acute intraperitoneal doses was 1.75 g/kg. In the open field arena, HEDF (475mg/kg and 950mg/kg p.o.) reduced the number of rearing episodes and locomotion, while number of urine spots increased. In subacute tests, haematological analysis showed a significant (p < 0.01) increase in WBC count. In the blood chemistry analysis, a transient decrease in AST activity was observed whereas cholesterol level was decreases in animals that received high dose of extract. Pathologically, neither gross abnormalities nor histopathological changes were observed. Collectively these data demonstrate that HEDF are relatively safe in rats; however, assessment of hepato-biliary function should be done during chronic use in humans.  

Key words: Dendrophthoe falcata, phytochemical screening, Acute and subacute toxicity study, LD50 values, haematology, blood chemistry analysis.

Click here to download the complete article in PDF Format