keywords: Acute, sub-chronic, Solanum aethiopicum, OECD, wistar-rats
Safety assessment of medicinal plant is vital and necessary during the course of drug development. Establishing the toxicity profile of a medicinal plant approves or disapproves next step during bioassay screening. Solanum aethiopicum (L.), family Solanaceae is popularly known as garden egg. In Nigeria, it is called gauta by Hausa tribe, igbagba by Yoruba tribe and afufa by Igbo tribe. The primary goal of this research was to establish safety profile of crude methanol extract of Solanum aethiopicum fruits in rats. Acute toxicity was determined using 5 female rats weighing (180 – 220 g). They were given single dose of 5, 50, 300, 2000 and 5000 mg/kg of extract and observed for 48 h for sign of toxicity and death. Sub-Chronic toxicity test was carried out using 40 rats (20 males, 20 females). Group I were given distilled water and II-IV received 250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg of extract for 28 days. They were observed for behavioural changes, then blood sample taken for haematological and biochemical analysis. Acute toxicity result shows the oral LD50 of crude methanol extract of Solanum aethiopicumis above 5000 mg/kg in rat. In addition, sub-Chronic toxicity testing indicated no observable behavioural changes and all haematological parameters shows no statistically significant changes. In addition, no significant changes observed in urea, creatinine and electrolytes level. Lastly, no significant change observed in all biochemical parameters except aspartate aminotransferase. Solanum aethiopicum fruit extract is generally safe because it does not alter kidney or liver function, does not affect internal organ growth and no any sign of toxicity during short term consumption. Further research should be conducted to establish its chronic toxicological data.