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J Pharmacopuncture. 2014 Mar;17(1):27-34. doi: 10.3831/KPI.2014.17.004.

Single Intramuscular-dose Toxicity of Water soluble Carthmi-Flos herbal acupuncture (WCF) in Sprague-Dawley Rats.

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Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion Medicine, Woosuk University Hospital of Oriental Medicine, Jeonju, Korea.
Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion Medicine, Wonkwang University Oriental Medical Hospital, Kwangju, Korea.
MyungGa Oriental Medical Clinic, Jeonju, Korea.



This experiment was conducted to examine the toxicity of Water soluble Carthmi-Flos herbal acupuncture (WCF) by administering a single intramuscular dose of WCF in 6-week-old, male and female Sprague-Dawley rats and to find the lethality dose for WCF.


The experiment was conducted at Biotoxtech according to Good Laboratory Practices under a request by the Korean Pharmacopuncture Institute. This experiment was performed based on the testing standards of "Toxicity Test Standards for Drugs" by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. Subjects were divided into 4 groups: 1 control group in which normal saline was administered and 3 test groups in which 0.1, 0.5 or 1.0 mL of WCF was administered; a single intramuscular dose was injected into 5 males and 5 females in each group. General symptoms and body weights were observed/measured for 14 days after injection. At the end of the observation period, hematological and clinical chemistry tests were performed, followed by necropsy and histopathological examinations of the injected sections.


No mortalities were observed in any group. Also, symptoms, body weight, hematology, clinical chemistry and necropsy were not affected. However, histopathological examination of the injected part in one female in the 1.0-mL group showed infiltration of mononuclear cells and a multi-nucleated giant cell around eosinophilic material.


Administration of single intramuscular doses of WCF in 3 groups of rats showed that the approximate lethal dose of WCF for all rats was in excess of 1.0 mL, as no mortalities were observed for injections up to and including 1.0 mL.


Carthamus tinctorious L.; Carthmi-Flos herbal acupuncture; Cathami Semen; Water soluble Carthmi-Flos herbal acupuncture; intramuscular toxicity test; pharmacopuncture

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