The biochemical effects of drinking Terminalia catappa Linn. decoction in place of water using weanling wistar rat (Rattus norvegicus) models of both sexes was studied. In folklore, the decoction is taken as a medicine by sicklers. Some of the phytochemical and chemical constituents detected in the decoction included tannins, flavonoids, saponins, β-carotene, thiocyanates, cardiac glycosides, alkaloids, cyanogenic glycosides, vitamin C, ρ – hydroxybenzoic acid (ρ – HBA), alkaloids, catechins, free amino acids and monosaccharides. The decoction was acidic, pH 5.94 ± 0.01. It was administered to the rats in place of water, ad libitum. Test for its biochemical effects lasted for 35 days and was ingested at 18.3 mg/ml. Results of its effects on liver function parameters showed that most of the parameters were not significantly (p> 0.05) affected. However, it increased (p< 0.05) the alanine aminotransferase activity and serum total protein contents of the female rats and significantly reduced (p< 0.05) the serum total bilirubin levels of both male and female rats. It also significantly (p< 0.05) reduced the serum total cholesterol levels of the female rats and the serum LDL – cholesterol levels of both the male and female rats. The haematological indices were not significantly (p>0.05) altered. Ingestion of the decoction in place of water significantly (p< 0.05) increased the body weight gained, fluid and feed intakes and did not interfere with the nutrient adequacy of the feed by reducing the feed conversion ratios (FCR’s) of the test rats. In conclusion, the study established the safety of the decoction when drunk in place of water.
Key words: Biochemical effects, decoction, drink, rats, Terminalia catappa.
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