Phytochemical Screening and Acute oral Toxicity Study of Root Extracts of Combretum hereroense Schinz and Balanites aegyptiaca Del. Traditionally Used to Treat Female Infertility in Baringo County, Kenya

Richard T. Kiptisia *

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, School of Science, University of Eldoret, P.O. Box 1125-30100, Eldoret, Kenya.

Anastasia N. Nandwa

Department of Biological Sciences, School of Science, University of Eldoret, P.O. Box 1125-30100, Eldoret, Kenya.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Aims: To carry out phytochemical screening and acute oral toxicity test to validate their safety and efficacy.

Study Design: Standard phytochemical screening tests were used to highlight phytochemical compounds of roots of the plants. The evaluation of acute toxicity of the root extracts of the plants followed the model of Acute Toxicity Class based on OECD 423 Guideline, 2001.

Place and Duration of the Study: The study was undertaken at the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry for the extraction for samples extraction and phytochemical screening. Acute oral toxicity studies were done at the Department of Biological Sciences for acute toxicity study, University of Eldoret, Between June and September 2022.

Methodology: Phytochemical screening for presence of Tannins, saponins, flavonoids, glycosides, alkaloids, anthocyanin, terpenoids, steroids, coumarins, lipids, proteins and carbohydrates were carried out. Acute oral toxicity studies were done using the fixed dose method at a dose of 2000mg/kg body weights of rats. Three groups were used: control and test groups for each of the respective plant root extracts. Signs of toxicity and/or mortality were monitored daily for 14 days. Weekly fasting body weights were also recorded.

Results: The phytochemical screening results showed the presence of tannins, saponins, flavonoids, glycosides, alkaloids, anthocyanin, terpenoids, steroids, lipids, proteins and carbohydrates present in the root extract of Combretum hereroense. Tannins, saponins, flavonoids, glycosides, terpenoids, steroids, and carbohydrates were present in root extracts of Balanites aegyptiaca. Following the acute oral toxicity study, there were no abnormalities observed in physiological parameters. In addition, no deaths were recorded during the study period. The LD50 was therefore greater than 2000 mg/kg. The fasting body weights of extract treated rats increased stably compared to the control [p = .05].

Conclusion: The results showed C. hereroense and B. aegyptiaca methanol root extracts were considered safe in acute oral exposure. Long-term toxicity studies are needed for further toxicological profile elicitation of the plant, and a possible reinforcement of clinical relevance of the results of laboratory studies.

Keywords: C. hereroense, B. aegyptiaca, phytochemical screening, acute toxicity test, roots

How to Cite

Kiptisia, R. T., & Nandwa, A. N. (2023). Phytochemical Screening and Acute oral Toxicity Study of Root Extracts of Combretum hereroense Schinz and Balanites aegyptiaca Del. Traditionally Used to Treat Female Infertility in Baringo County, Kenya. European Journal of Medicinal Plants, 34(1), 12–22.


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