The effect of aqueous leaf and berry extracts of Phytolacca dioica administered at 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight for 14 days was investigated on haematology and weight parameters of Wistar rats. The extracts at all doses had no significant effect on the red blood cells (RBC), haemoglobin (HB), parked cell volume (PCV), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) when compared with the animals in the control group. In contrast, the extracts at all doses caused a progressive significant reduction in the serum levels of platelets, white blood cells (WBC), neutrophils and monocytes. Also, there was dose-dependent significant increase in the serum levels of lymphocytes and a reduction in the level of eosinophils. Administration of the extracts at all doses investigated led to a significant reduction in the body weight, absolute organ weight and organ-body weight ratio. These observable alterations in some parameters were indications that the leaf and berry extracts of P. dioica possess slight toxicity. Therefore, the crude extracts from the leaf and berry may not be completely safe as oral remedies.
Key words: Phytolacca dioica, haematology, weight parameters, slight toxicity, oral remedy.
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