Chinyere Godwin Chinyere, Uche Mercylyn Ezinne
In this study, the toxicity of aqueous leaf extract of Ficus aurea on male albino rats was determined after 28 days of administration using standard analytical procedures. The experimental animals (same age) were divided randomly into four (4) groups of five (5) animals each. The group 1 animals were orally given 500mg/kg body weight of the aqueous leaf extract while group 2 had 1000mg/kg and group 3, 1500mg/kg body weight of the aqueous leaf extract respectively. The control (4) was given water in place of the extract. Qualitative phytochemical screening of aqueous Ficus aurea leaf extract indicated the presence of alkaloid, tannin, flavonoid, saponin, phenol, cardiac glycoside and steroid. Alkaloid present had the highest value of 6.00±0.00 mg/g while cardiac glycoside had the lowest value of 0.02±-0.00 mg/g in the aqueous leaf extract of Ficus aurea. The acute toxicity study indicated that the aqueous leaf extract of Ficus aurea was safe at 5000mg/kg body weight (b.w.) dose to the experimental animals. All the animals given the aqueous leaf extract of Ficus aurea had increased (p<0.05) serum globulin concentration and alkaline phosphatase activity compared to the control group. Similarly, serum urea increased significantly (p<0.05) in groups 2 and 3 animals administered with the leaf extract of the test plant compared to the control (group 4). However, there was a significant reduction (p<0.05) in unconjugated bilirubin of animals administered with 1000mg/kg body weight of the plant extract when compared to the control (group 4). Significant reductions (p<0.05) in serum cholesterol concentration and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) concentration were observed in group 3 animals when compared to the control. These results suggest low toxicity of aqueous leaf extract of this plant at a dose of 1500mg/kg body weight after prolonged administration in these experimental animals.