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Protus Arrey Tarkang*, Gabriel A. Agbor, Lawrence S. Ayong, Faith A. Okalebo, Anastasia N. Guantai


Nefang is a polyherbal product composed of Mangifera indica (bark and leaf), Psidium guajava, Carica papaya, Cymbopogon citratus, Citrus sinensis and Ocimum gratissimum (leaves). It is often used in Cameroon traditional medicine as an antimalarial. Previous studies have demonstrated its in vitro antiplasmodial activity, synergistic interactions between its constituents, antioxidant properties and in vivo antiplasmodial efficacy. This study aimed at evaluating its safety. Cytotoxicity screening was evaluated against Hep G2 hepatoma and U2OS osteosarcoma epithelial cell lines. Systemic acute oral toxicity was assessed in Swiss albino mice, while sub-acute toxicity was studied in wistar rats at doses of 250, 500 and 1000 mgkg-1 body weight. Physiological, biochemical and hematological parameters were analysed to determine its effects on the liver, kidney, lipid profile, nitrogen balance, glycemic levels and the hematological systems. Nefang showed no significant cytotoxic effects (CC50>2000 μg/mL). No observed adverse effects levels (NOAEL) in acute toxicity > 5000 mgkg-1 bwt. Repeated dose toxicity produced no observed adverse effects on the organ-system profiles. Oral administration of Nefang significantly (p<0.05) lowered the glucose levels. We also observed a dose-dependent significant (p<0.05) increase in white and red blood cell counts, hemoglobin, hematocrit and platelet densities. These findings suggest that Nefang is relatively safe when administered orally at doses tested. Nefang exhibited potentials of maintaining the integral functioning of the liver and kidney while boosting the immune system. It also showed hypoglycemic effects. This demonstrated safety of Nefang upholds knowledge on its folk use, thereby paving the way for clinical development.

Keywords: Nefang, medicinal plants, cytotoxicity, in vivo toxicity, no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL), hepatotoxicity, renal toxicity, lipid profile, blood glucose level.

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