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Toxological evaluation of Cyperus compressus Linn., a traditionally used anthelmintic plant in India


This study reports the toxicological evaluation findings of Cyperus compressus Linn., (Cyperaceae), whose root decoction is used in India to treat the intestinal helminthic infestations. The acute oral toxicity (AOT) of C. compressus root extract (CRE) was conducted in Swiss mice, following OECD guidelines 407. The sub-acute toxicity study of CRE was undertaken in Wistar rats, using three doses viz., 175, 350 and 700 mg/kg, involving haematological, biochemical and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) parameters. AOT study revealed the median lethal dose of CRE to be above 2000 mg/kg. The sub-acute study of CRE revealed elevated levels of serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase in male rats, only in high extract-treated group, but the serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase was found to be elevated both in male and female animals. TEM studies of kidney and liver of animals also revealed considerable deformities in the nucleus and mitochondria in the form of damages to nuclear membrane, cristae and to double layered membrane of mitochondria, only in the high-extract treated group of animals. The root decoction of C. compressus show presence of toxicity in the highest dose tested animals. Therefore, the use of this plant extract against intestinal helminthiasis raises concerns about its safety.

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The authors wish to thank the Head, Department of Zoology, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) for providing the necessary facilities to carry out this study. A research fellowship to ADS from the University Grants Commission, New Delhi is duly acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Arun Kumar Yadav.

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Ethical statement

All experiments involving animals in this study were done as per the guidelines of Institutional Ethics Committee (Animal Models) (IEC) of North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong and were duly approved by IEC (vide Member Secretary, IEC (Animal Models), NEHU, Shillong, letter no. nil, dated December 04, 2014). The guidelines of the institutional animal ethical committee were strictly observed.

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Amar Deep Soren has no conflict of interest. Arun Kumar Yadav has no conflict of interest. Errini Decruse Dhar has no conflict of interest.

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Soren, A.D., Yadav, A.K. & Dhar, E.D. Toxological evaluation of Cyperus compressus Linn., a traditionally used anthelmintic plant in India. ADV TRADIT MED (ADTM) 20, 367–372 (2020).

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  • Cyperus compressus
  • Anthelmintic
  • Helminthiasis
  • Acute toxicity
  • Sub-acute toxicity