The tradition of using herbal preparations as a remedy is becoming more pronounced year after year as it is a cheaper alternative medication with lower undesirable effects. Brown algae are a group of seaweeds that has a promising pharmaceutical and biomedical capability in medicine. Cystoseira trinodis (C. trinodis) and Sargassum dentifolium (S. dentifolium) are brown algae belonging to the class Phaeophyceae. Previous studies have demonstrated their hepatoprotective effects and wound healing activities. The current study is a preliminary safety study aiming to investigate any possible toxic effects of an experimental polyherbal preparation (EMP) consisting of two brown algae (S. dentifolium and C. trinodis) plus three plants (garlic, liquorice and ginger) intended to be used orally as a hepatosupportive and immunostimulant supplement. In this study forty Wistar male rats, about two months old, were used to evaluate the acute, subchronic and the chronic adverse effects of the EMP preparation. In the acute study, single oral dose of 5 gm EMP/kg body weight was administered daily for one week. Subchronic and chronic studies were carried out using 250 and 500 mg of the EMP/kg body weight daily for 1 and 3 months, respectively. LD50, haematological, biochemical and redox markers were measured, then histopathological examinations were performed. Results revealed that, administration of EMP in high doses for long duration provoked some adverse effects on liver and kidney; these adverse effects were in dose- and time-dependent manners. Further investigations are required to determine the safest dose and duration, as well as the ideal ratio between the EMP constituents.
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