Toxicological and Phytochemical Evaluation of Uvariodendron kirkii

Background: Uvariodendron kirkii is popularly used in Tana River County, Kenya for fertility regulation. This study is aimed at documenting its toxicity and phytochemical composition to validate its continuous usage in traditional medicine. Methods: Phytochemical screening was done to determine phytoconstituents of U. kirkii extracts. Acute toxicity was tested OECD test guideline 423. In sub-acute toxicity, three dose levels (62.5, 250, and 1000mg/Kg) were administered to mice for 28 days and observed as per OECD test guideline 407. Results: Phytochemical screening revealed the presences of tannins, terpenoids, alkaloids and saponins in the aqueous extract; and tannins, flavonoids and terpenoids in the organic extract. In acute toxicity, the LD50 was found to be >2000 mg/Kg for both extracts. In sub-acute toxicity, there were no adverse physical-clinical effects in all treatment groups. The aqueous extract caused a significant increase in thrombocyte counts, suggesting its usefulness in correcting thrombocytopenia and wound healing; and signs of hepatotoxicity indicated by a significant dose related increase in alanine aminotransferase levels and hepatocyte degeneration in mice that received 1000 mg/Kg of the extract. The organic bark extract produced signs of hepatotoxicity indicated by dose-related hepatocyte degeneration on histology; and signs of nephrotoxicity indicated by degeneration of renal tubules in the group that received 1000 mg/Kg of the extract. Conclusions: U. kirkii is safe when used orally for a short period. However, long-term administration may lead to nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity at high doses Ph ton 1488 therefore liver and kidney functions need to be monitored. Presence of phytochemical constituents suggest its usefulness in pharmaceutical research.


Jacquiline Kisianan Kenanaa, James Mucunu Mbariaa, Catherine Kaluwa Kaingub, Paul Onyango Okumu


Uvariodendron kirkii, phytochemical screening, acute toxicity, subacute toxicity, LD50, liver and kidney function