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J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Mar;91(1):43-50.

Acute and chronic toxicological studies of Ajuga iva in experimental animals.

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  • 1UFR Physiology-Pharmacology, Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences Dhar El Mehraz, BP 1976 Atlas, Fez, Morocco.


Ajuga iva (L.) Schreber (AI), is widely used in the Moroccan pharmacopoeia as a panacea (cure-all), and specifically for gastrointestinal disorders and diabetes, and as an anthelmintic. No toxicological investigations have been carried out on this plant. We have previously observed that single oral doses (2-14 g/kg) of a lyophilised aqueous extract of AI (AI-extract) in mice or daily oral administration of 10 mg/kg of AI-extract in rats for 2 weeks did not result in any adverse effects. We have now evaluated AI-extract for its behavioural and pharmaco-toxicological effects after acute and chronic administration by the oral and intraperitoneal routes in rats and mice. No toxicity was observed in mice after single oral doses of as high as 14 g/kg of the AI-extract. However, single intraperitoneal injections of the AI-extract (1500-5500 mg/kg BW) produced a dose-dependent increase in adverse effects in the general behaviour and the mortality rate; the LD50 of acute intraperitoneal dose was 3.6 g/kg. In chronic toxicological studies in rats, the AI-extract (administered orally at daily doses of 100, 300 and 600 mg/kg for 3 months), did not cause any changes in haematological and biochemical parameters, with the exception of a transient rise in platelet counts and a short-term decrease in serum glucose levels. Histopathological examination of the brain, liver and the kidneys at the end of the study (3 months) showed normal architecture suggesting no morphological disturbances.

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