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.
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