Acute toxicity testing plays a pivotal role in the initial safety assessment of products. It examines the effects of a single or multiple doses of a product administered to animals or taken by humans within a 24-hour period. This test holds particular importance in determining the toxic characteristics of products intended for use in humans, animals, and agriculture. Despite the availability of numerous herbal medicinal products in the Ugandan market, there is a notable absence of data regarding their safety profiles. This study focuses on the assessment of acute toxic effects of Artavol®, a herbal tea aimed at malaria prevention. The study follows the guidelines set forth by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). An analysis using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrophotometry (GC-MS) was carried out on Artavol® to identify its constituent compounds. The yield of the extract from Artavol® was determined to be 4.7%. The product was deemed safe within the limit dose of 5000 mg/kg. The GC-MS analysis of Artavol® revealed the presence of 40 compounds in the extract. Notably, the analysis identified artemisinin compounds (dihydroartemisinin and deoxyartemisinin) as well as coumarin compounds among others. This study reaffirms the previously reported safety of Artavol® up to the dosage of 5000 mg/kg. Furthermore, it confirms the existence of multiple compounds, previously reported coumarins, while also revealing the presence of compounds that were thought to be removed during processing. These latter compounds include dihydroartemisinin and deoxyartemisinin. To ensure the claimed complete deartemisation, further refinement in the processing is recommended.
Key words: Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrophotometry (GC-MS), analysis, Acute toxicity, antimalaria tea, Artavol, Artemesia annua.
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