Author(s): Peter A. Akah, Theresa S. Nwagu, Martha N. Oforkansi
The prevalence of snake bite and death from snake bite envenomation is becoming a serious public health problem globally. The cost, non availability and the adverse reactions associated with antisnake venom serum has favoured the use of medicinal herbs by traditional healers in the treatment of snakebites. In this study we evaluated the antisnake venom activity of the leaves of Sansevieria liberica against Naja naja nigricollis venom in mice. S. liberica is very popular among the traditional healers in south east Nigeria for the treatment of snake bites. The ground fresh leaves were extracted with ethanol and a portion of the ethanol extract was fractionated with n-hexane, ethyl acetate and butanol to afford the respective solvent fractions. The extract was subjected to acute toxicity (LD50) and phytochemical testing. The LD50 of the venom was similarly determined, The antisnake venom activity of the extract/fraction was determined against the LD50 (353.5 ug/kg) and double the LD50 (707 ug/kg) of the venom. The effect of the extract on bleeding and clotting time of the venom-intoxicated mice was investigated. Also studied was the effect of the extract on acetylcholine-induced contraction of the isolated frog rectus abdominus. The extract/fractions significantly protected the mice from Naja naja nigricollis venom-induced mortality in mice. The bleeding and clotting time of the venom-intoxicated rats were significantly (p < 0.05) decreased by the extract/fractions. The acetylcholine-induced contraction of frog rectus abdominus was significantly inhibited by the extract. These results suggest that the leaves of S. liberica exhibit antisnake venom properties that could be harnessed in treating patients with snakebite envenomation.
Sansevieria liberica, Naja naja nigricollis, Bleeding Time, Clotting Time, Frog Rectus Abdominus
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