Toxicological study of Opuntia elatior Mill., Fruit (ripen) juice: A folklore medicinal plant

Shantanu Kr Sanyal


Objective: Ripen fruit juice of Opuntia elatior Mill, a folklore medicinal plant, is being used by the local people of Gujarat, to treat anemia and general debility. Though used frequently since long, its fruits have not been evaluated for their safety aspects on repeated administration. Hence, the present study was planned to evaluate the acute and long-term toxicity study of O. elatior fruit (ripen) juice in rats. Materials and Methods: Oral acute toxicity study was carried out by administering the drug once only at the dose of 20.0 ml/kg orally in rats. For long-term toxicity, O. elatior fruit juice was administered at the three different dose levels of 1.8, 9.0, and 18.0 ml/kg orally for 60 consecutive days in rats following AYUSH 170 guideline/WHO guideline. The effects of the drug on ponderal changes, hematological, biochemical, and histological parameters were noted down. Results: No significant behavioral changes and sign symptoms of toxicity were observed during acute oral toxicity study implicating that the sample is relatively safe at 20.0 ml/kg. Long-term toxicity results showed that O. elatior fruit juice even at a higher dose of 18.0 ml/kg administered for 60 days, did not affect the parameters studied to a significant level in rats. Conclusion: The doses employed for long-term toxicity studies were several folds higher than the clinical dose of O. elatior fruit juice. Hence, it is relatively safe for use at a therapeutic dose level.

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