Full Length Research Paper
The effect of aqueous leaf extract of Ocimum gratissimum was investigated in rat models of liver injury induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4). Treatment of separate groups of rats with 2.5 ml/kg body weight of 5, 10 and 15% aqueous extracts of O. gratissimum for 3 weeks after establishment of CCl4 induced liver damage, resulted in significantly (p < 0.05) less hepatotoxicity than with CCl4 alone, as measured by serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activities. For serum alanine aminotransferase, activity decreased from 68.95 ± 21.38 U/l to 35.77 ± 1.48 U/L, while for aspartate aminotransferase, activity level decreased from 165.65 ± 17.75 to 110.10 ± 3.05 U/l and for alkaline phosphatase, activity level decreased from 364.65 ± 37.75 to 212.74 ± 15.27 U/l. The reduction though not statistically significant (p < 0.05) was dose dependent. Histopathological findings also suggest that treatment with aqueous extracts of O. gratissimum after establishment of CCl4-induced liver damage significantly reduced and even reversed the liver damage in the rats. The results of the study indicate that O. gratissimum might be an effective plant hepatoprotector in the diet of patients with hepatopathies.
Key words: Aqueous extract, Ocimum gratissimum, hepatoprotector, hepatotoxicity, carbon tetrachloride.
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