Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3693

Full Length Research Paper

Acute toxicity study of Sphaeranthus bullatus used as herbal tea in Tanzania

Okumu Ochanga
  • Okumu Ochanga
  • Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 447, Arusha-Tanzania.
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Musa Chacha*
  • Musa Chacha*
  • Department of Sustainable Agriculture and Biodiversity Ecosystem Management, School of Life Sciences and Bioengineering, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, P. O. Box 447, Arusha, Tanzania.
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  •  Received: 19 September 2016
  •  Accepted: 11 November 2016
  •  Published: 17 November 2016


Sphaeranthus bullatus aerial part is used by Chaga people in Northern Tanzania as herbal tea. It is usually drunk for the management of diarrhea.  In this study acute toxicity of S. bullatus was evaluated in order to establish its safety to verify its use as herbal tea.  Acute toxicity was performed per Organization for Economic co-operation and Development 423 (OECD) guideline. Six groups of female white albino mice were orally administered as a single dose of 1000, 2000 mg/kg body weight, 3000, 4000 and 5000 mg/kg body weight of S. bullatus dichloromethane extract.  Internal organ weights, hematological and biochemical parameters of animal blood were determined after 14 days of the experiment.  No animal died up to the 14th day of the experiment. Red blood cells, haemoglobin concentration, and hematocrit concentration of the treated animals were significantly higher than the control while white blood cells and platelets were found lower than the control animals. Level of biochemical parameters of the treated animals were not significantly different from the control animals except the level of bilurubin of treated animals which was found higher than control animals.  S. bullatus dichloromethane extract is therefore established to have safety up to dose of 5000 mg/kg body weight which authenticates its use as herbal tea and for management of diarrhea. However a dose of more than 2000 mg/Kg body weight indicated to lower WBC.

Key words:  Sphaentharus bullatus, herbal tea, physical observation, hematology, biochemical.