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Background: Plant materials has been in use globally for medical reasons with little or no knowledge of phytochemicals therein present and often times no scientific basis.
Methods: The determination of the types, quantity of some phytochemicals present in aqueous Ocimum gratissimum leaf extract and its toxicological implications were performed using different doses of the extract administered orally to Albino rats for 60 days. Blood was collected, centrifuged to obtain the plasma which was used to determine plasma alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) activities; total protein; albumin; bilirubin; urea; and creatinine concentrations.
Results: Phytochemistry showed that Ocimum gratissimum contain flavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids, anthraquinone, tannin, phlobotannin, phenol, and saponin but lack cardiac glycoside and cardenolide. Proximate analysis revealed that it contain 46.1% carbohydrate, 15% crude fibre, 15.4% crude protein, 5% crude fat, 9.2% moisture, and 9.1% ash. The LD50 for Ocimum gratissimum is ?5000mg/kg while markers of hepatorenal toxicity revealed an increase in ALT and AST activities; albumin; and urea; and a decrease in total bilirubin, conjugated bilirubin, total protein and creatinine concentrations on chronic administration. The result of GC-MS showed the presence of various bioactive compounds in aqueous Ocimum gratissimum leaf extract.
Conclusion: This study revealed that Ocimum gratissimum leaf contains different phytochemicals and compounds of potential medicinal importance in appreciable quantities and its ingestion has no toxicological implication.
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