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J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Dec;89(2-3):295-300.

Studies on the toxicity of Punica granatum L. (Punicaceae) whole fruit extracts.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biology, University of Havana, Havana, Cuba.


Current investigation focuses on the toxicity evaluation of whole fruit hydroalcoholic extract of Punica granatum L. (Punicaceae), used in Cuban traditional medicine a.o. for the treatment of respiratory diseases. Previous findings on the anti-influenza activity of Punica granatum extracts has given support to the ethnopharmacological application. In our study, in chick embryo model, it was found that doses of the extract of less than 0.1 mg per embryo are not toxic. The LD50 of the extract, determined in OF-1 mice of both sexes after intraperitoneal administration, was 731 mg/kg. Confidence limits were 565-945 mg/kg. At the doses of 0.4 and 1.2 mg/kg of extract, the repeated intranasal administration to Wistar rats produced no toxic effects in terms of food intake, weight gain, behavioural or biochemical parameters, or results of histopathological studies. We conclude that toxic effects of Punica granatum fruit extract occurred at higher doses than those effective in the models where the anti-viral activity has been studied or than those doses used in Cuban folk medicine.

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