Preliminary phytochemical, acute oral toxicity and antihepatotoxic study of roots of Paeonia officinalis Linn.
Objective: To carry out a preliminary phytochemical, acute oral toxicity and antihepatotoxic study of the roots of Paeonia officinalis (P. officinalis) L. Methods: Preliminary phytochemical investigation was done as per standard procedures. Acute oral toxicity study was conducted as per OECD 425 guidelines. The antihepatotoxic activity of aqueous extract of root of P. officinalis was evaluated against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced hepatic damage in rats. Aqueous extract of P. officinalis at the dose levels of 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight was administered daily for 14 d in experimental animals. Liver injury was induced chemically, by CCl4 administration (1 mL/kg i.p.). The hepatoprotective activity was assessed using various biochemical parameters like aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), serum alkaline phosphatase (SALP), total bilirubin and total protein (TP) along with histopathological studies. Result: Phytochemical screening revealed that the roots of P. officinalis contain alkaloids, tannins, saponins, glycosides, carbohydrates, flavonoids, terpenes, steroids and proteins. The aqueous extract did not cause any mortality up to 2000 mg/kg. In rats that had received the root extract at the dose of 100 and 200 mg/kg, the substantially elevated AST, ALT, SALP, total bilirubin levels were significantly lowered, respectively, in a dose dependent manner, along with CCl4 while TP levels were elevated in these groups. Histopathology revealed regeneration of the livers in extract treated groups while Silymarin treated rats were almost normal. Conclusions: The aqueous extract of P. officinalis is safe and possesses antihepatotoxic potential.