has been used by traditional medicine practitioners since the medieval ages for the treatment of diseases. The aim of this research was to evaluate the acute and sub-acute oral toxicity of its methanolic extract. The acute toxicity test was conducted using Sprague Dawley (SD) rats. The methanolic extract of Alstonia scholaris
stem bark (ASME) was administrated in a single dose of 2000 mg/kg via oral gavage; and the animals were observed for any behavioral changes or mortality. In the sub-acute toxicity study, SD rats received three doses of ASME (250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg) for 28 days via oral gavage. During these 28 days of treatment, the rats were observed weekly for toxicity symptoms. Following the 28-day treatment, the rats were sacrificed for hematological, biochemical and histopathology studies. In the acute toxicity study, Alstonia scholaris
was found to be non-toxic at a dose of 2000 mg/kg b.w. In the sub-acute toxicity study, significant variations in body weight, hematological and biochemical parameters were observed in the experimental groups at the dose of 500 and 1000 mg/kg with the death of two female rats being recorded at the highest dose (1000 mg/kg b.w.). Histopathological studies revealed slight degeneration (lesion) and centrilobular necrosis in the liver, which was most expressed in the highest-dose group. These results demonstrate that, while a single dose and short term oral intake of Alstonia scholaris
bark extract caused no toxicity up to a dose of 2000 mg/kg b.w., toxic effects manifested in the long term treatment at the highest dose (500 and 1000 mg/kg). The long-term toxic effect was found to be associated with alterations in hematological compositions and end-organ damage to the liver. Thus, prolonged use of high doses of ASME orally should be discouraged and lower doses encouraged.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited