• A. O. Isah
  • M. Idu
  • F. C. Amaechina
Keywords: Crossopteryx febrifuga, Toxicity, Histopathology, Haematology, Liver function indices


Crossopteryx febrifuga is one of the plants used for the local treatment of some disease conditions by the people of Nigeria via its leaf, root and bark without knowing the toxic nature of the plant recipes. This research was designed to ascertain the toxicity profiles of the plant leaf. Acute toxicity was determined in two phases using rats. In sub-acute toxicity studies, haematology, histopathology and evaluation of liver function indices were conducted. In the first phase of the toxicity study, the mice showed no observable toxic effects as high as at 1000 mg/kg. However, it caused sluggishness, respiratory distress at higher doses in the second phase. On haematological indices, white blood cell, lymphocyte, erythrocytes, haemoglobin, haematocrit rose significantly across the doses administered. The liver function test revealed significant increase in serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), albumin, total protein and conjugated bilirubin while 800 mg/kg extract reduced the aspartate transaminase. On histopathology, liver revealed normal hepatocytes but dilated central vein while in kidney, renal corpuscle, glomeruli and tubule were normal. On heart, revealed was active vascular congestion with normal bundle of myocardial fibres and coronary artery while in aorta, it revealed normal architecture. With the nature of the toxicity profile revealed especially at doses less than 500 mg/kg of C. febrifuga extract, the plant could be considered to be relatively safe. This study is significant as it provides information that may suggest some safe doses out of the doses used for clinical trial and application


Adedapo A. A, Abatan M. O. and Olorunsogo O. O. (2007). Effect of some plants of the spurge family on haematological and biochemical parameters in rats. Veterinarski Arhiv. 77: 29 - 38.

Adedapo A. A., Sofidiya M. O., Masika P. J. and Afolayan A. J. (2008). Safety evaluations of the aqueous extract of Acacia karroo stem bark in rats and mice, Records of Natural Products 2: 128 - 134.

Adeniyi T. T., Ajayi G. O., Akinsanya M.A. and Jaiyeola T. M. (2010). Biochemical changes induced in rats by aqueous and ethanolic corm extract of Zygotritonia croceae. Scientific Research and Essay. 5: 71 - 76.

Agostinho AB. Integration of Traditional Medicine in Health Systems in Africavol. 2. Univ Forum; 2011. view/68. Accessed August 1, 2018. Accessed 2.

Ahmad IA, Farrukh F, Owais M. Herbal medicines: prospects and constraints. In: Ahmad I,F, Aqil, Owais M, eds. Modern Phytomedicine: Turning Medicinal Plants into Drugs. Germany: -VCH Verlag GmbH & Co.; 2006:59e78. DOI:


Bandaranayake WM. Quality control, screening, toxicity, and regulation of herbal drugs,. In: Ahmad IAF, Owais M, eds. Modern Phytomedicine: Turning Medicinal Plants into Drugs. Germany: VCH Verlag GmbH & Co.; 2006:25e57. DOI:

Elufioye T. O., Agbedahunsi, J. M. (2004). Antimalarial activities of Tithonia diversifolia (Asteraceae) and Crossopteryx febrifuga (Rubiaceae) on mice in vivo. J. ethnopharmacol. 93: 2-32-3, 167-171. DOI:

Gurib-Fakim A. Medicinal plants: traditions of yesterday and drugs of tomorrow. Mol Asp Med. 2006;27(1):1e93. 2005.07.008. DOI:

Hosseinzadeh S, Jafarikukhdan A, Hosseini A, Armand R. The application of medicinal plants in traditional and modern medicine: a review of. Thymus vulgaris Int J Clin Med. 2015;06(09):635e642. DOI:

Hunter P. (2008). A toxic brew we cannot live without. Micronutrients give insights into the interplay between geochemistry and evolutionary biology. EMBO Rep. 9:15–8. [PMCID: PMC2246629] [PubMed: 18174893]. DOI:

Krah E, de Kruijf J, Ragno L. Integrating traditional healers into the health care system: challenges and opportunities in rural northern Ghana. J Community Health. 2018;43(1):157e163. DOI:

Kuppast I. J., Vasudeva, Nayak P., Ravi M. C. and Biradar S. S. (2009). Studies on the hematological effect of the extracts of Cordiadichotoma Forst. F. Fruits. Research Journal Pharmacology and Pharamacodynamics. 1: 117-119.

Lorke D. (1983). A New Approach to Practical Acute Toxicity Testing. Archives of Toxicology, 54: 275 - 287. DOI:

Mahomoodally MF. Traditional medicines in Africa: an appraisal of ten potent african medicinal plants. Evid Based Complement Altern Med ECAM. 2013;2013: 617459. DOI:

Mohajeri D, Mousavi G. and Mesgari M. (2007). Subacute toxicity of Crocus sativus L. (Saffron) stigma ethanolic extracts in rats. American Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 2: 189 - 193. DOI:

OECD (1995). Repeated Dose 28- day Oral Toxicity Study in Rodents. OECD guideline for testing of chemicals 407: 1-8.

Okpuzor J, Ogbunugafor H. A. and Kareem G. K. (2009). Hepatoprotective and hematologic effects of fractions of Globimetula braunii in normal albino rats. EXCIL Journal, 8: 182 – 189.

Olayode, O. A., Oluwatoyin, O. M. and Olayiwola, D. G. (2020). Biochemical, hematological and histopathological evaluation of the toxicity potential of the leaf extract of Stachytarpheta cayennensis in rats. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine 10 (2020) 544 – 554. DOI:

Yakubu M. T., Akanji M. A. and Oladiji A. T. (2005). Aphrodisiac potentials of aqueous extract of Fadogia agrestis (Schweinf. Ex Heirn) stem in male albino rats. Asian Journal of Andrology, 7(4): 399 - 404. DOI:

Salawu O. A., Chindo B. A., Tijani A. Y. and Adzu B. (2008). Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and antiplasmodial effects of the methanolic extract of Crossopteryx febrifuga. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 2(8): 213 - 218.

Salawu O. A., Chindo B. A,, Tijani A. Y., Obidike I. C., Salawu, T. A. and Akingbasote, A. J. (2009). Acute and sub-acute toxicological evaluation of the methanolic stem bark extract of Crossopteryx febrifuga in rats. African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 3(12) pp. 621-626. DOI:

Tan V. P., Boda M., Enow-Orock G. E., Francois-Xanvier B. P. (2007). Acute and sub-acute toxicity profile of the aqueous stem bark extract of Enantia chlorantha Oliver (Annonaceae) in laboratory animals. Pharmacol. 1: 304-313.

How to Cite