Acacia nilotica, of family Fabaceae, is a thorny tree commonly used in Northern Nigeria for the treatment of cough, diabetes and malaria. Aqueous root extract of A. nilotica was analyzed for antiplasmodial activity in mice. Acute toxicity of the extract was studied using Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guideline 423. Suppressive activity, curative and prophylactic effect was studied in chloroquine-sensitive Plasmodium berghei berghei NK 65 infected mice. Five groups, of five mice in each group were used. Group 1 or control, was administered with 10ml distilled water/kg body weight; groups 2, 3 and 4 were administered with 100, 200, and 400mg extract/kg body weight, respectively, while group 5 was administered with 5mg chloroquine/kg body weight. The doses were administered orally. All doses of the extract produced significant, dose- dependent, chemo suppressive activity against the parasite in the suppressive, curative and prophylactic tests. This is comparable to the group treated with chloroquine. The extract also prolonged the mean survival time of treated mice compared to the untreated group. The oral median lethal dose (LDâ‚…â‚€) of the extract in mice was 5000mg/kg body weight. The results of this study showed that the aqueous root extract of Acacia nilotica is safe and has anti plasmodial activity.
Key words: Acacia nilotica, antimalarial, Plasmodium berghei berghei, medicinal plant.
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