The use of medicinal plants in traditional medicine is common practice in developing countries. However, such unregulated and unreasonable use may pose a risk in short or long-term toxicity to humans. The aim of this study was to investigate the phytochemical and toxicological characteristics of Annona senegalensis and Trichilia prieureana two plants from Benin, which are traditionally used for the treatment of colds, chest pain, fever, stomach problems, diabetes, malaria, bechias, venereal diseases and colic. The acute toxicity of ethanolic extracts of A. senegalensis and T. prieureana at a single dose of 5000 mg/kg according to OECD 423 protocol was studied. Biochemical and hematological examinations, as well as histological studies of the liver and kidneys were performed. Phytochemical screening of these plants revealed the presence of secondary metabolites, including coumarins, lignans, sterols and triterpenes, anthracene derivatives, tannins, flavonoids and alkaloids. In contrast, saponins and naphthoquinones were not detected in the T. prieureana extract. Acute toxicity data indicated that the liver and kidneys of treated animals were not affected and did not undergo structural nor functional changes. These observations demonstrate the safety of these plants and justify their use in traditional medicine to treat many diseases.
Key words: Annona senegalensis, Trichilia prieureana, acute oral toxicity.
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