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American Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Year: 2007  |  Volume: 2  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 189 - 193

Subacute Toxicity of Crocus Sativus L. (Saffron) Stigma Ethanolic Extract in Rats

Daryoush Mohajeri, Ghafour Mousavi, Mehran Mesgari, Yousef Doustar and Mir Hadi Khayat Nouri


The medicinal properties attributed to Crocus sativus L. (saffron) are extensive. The safety of saffron is important in relation to its medicinal applications. This study was performed to elucidate the possible toxic effects of ethanolic extract of Crocus sativus L. stigma on liver, kidney and some hematological parameters in rats. Wistar rats were randomly assigned into four groups of eight animals each. Group 1 was treated with ISS as control and Groups 2 to 4 were treated with extract administered daily for 2 weeks intraperitoneally in doses of 0.35, 0.70 and 1.05 g kg-1, respectively. Body weight of the animals were recorded on the first, seven and final days of the experiment. The haematological studies include total RBC count, total WBC count, Hb, %HCT, MCV, MCH and MCHC. Biochemical/serum profile studies include ALT, AST, urea, uric acid and creatinine. Tissue specimens of the liver and kidneys were subjected to histological examination using standard hematoxyline-eosin staining. The extract caused significant reductions in the Hb and HCT levels and total RBC count, although it showed any dose-dependent effect. Total WBC count showed significant dose-dependent increases in extract treated rats. Significant dose-dependent increased values of AST, ALT, urea, uric acid and creatinine were seen. Microscopically, there were mild to severe hepatic and renal tissue injuries supporting the biochemical analysis. The results indicated that extract of Crocus sativus L. stigma is toxic in high doses.

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