Poisonous plants of veterinary and human importance in southern Africa.

Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology (Impact Factor: 2.94). 08/2008; 119(3):549-58. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.07.022
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Southern Africa is inherently rich in flora, where the habitat and climatic conditions range from arid environments to lush, sub-tropical greenery. Needless to say, with such diversity in plant life there are numerous indigenous poisonous plants, and when naturalised exotic species and toxic garden varieties are added the list of potential poisonous plants increases. The economically important poisonous plants affecting livestock and other plant poisonings of veterinary significance are briefly reviewed. In addition, a synopsis of the more common plant poisonings in humans is presented. Many of the plants mentioned in this review are also used ethnobotanically for treatment of disease in humans and animals and it is essential to be mindful of their toxic potential.

1 Bookmark
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Toxic medicinal plants can be defined as any plant that in one or more of its organs contains toxin that can induce adverse side effects in animal/humans upon consumption or administration for therapeutic purposes. The use of plants in African traditional medicine (ATM) is currently not regulated in most countries of the continent, resulting in a serious danger of misadministration of toxic plants. The potential toxic effects following prolonged use of some of the popular medicinal plants are to be scientifically investigated. Of the 120 African medicinal plants screened for their toxic effects and examined in this chapter, 49 of them were potentially toxic. Toxic symptoms mainly included neurological, hepatic, renal, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular signs. The issues related to the use of toxic plants in ATM should now be addressed and taken as a priority in all African countries. This chapter aims: (i) to report toxic or potentially toxic plants used in ATM based on the LD50 values, physical and biochemical changes; (ii) to highlight the advanced in the methods used to detect these toxic plants; (iii) to provide baseline information in order to warn healer and patient on the side effects of some commonly used herbal drugs. Most of the plants mentioned in this chapter are used in ATM for treatment of several diseases in humans and it is essential to be aware of their toxic effects. Keywords: African traditional medicine; medicinal plants; toxic effects; physical symptoms; LD50 values; biochemical and hematological changes
    Toxicological Survey of African Medicinal Plants, First edition edited by Victor Kuete, 06/2014: chapter 7: pages 135-180; Elsevier., ISBN: 978-0-12-800018-2
  • South African Journal of Botany 05/2013; 86:41-45. · 1.34 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Extensive and indiscriminate use of synthetic compounds and natural compounds obtained from plant sources have resulted into serious threats to not only the aquatic ecosystem but also to human health. Aqueous seed extract of the plant Croton tiglium L. is used in many traditional medicines to treat various ailments in many developing countries. The extract is also used for killing fishes for consumption in Manipur, India. However, the side effects and safety measures are not well studied and evaluated. The present study aims to investigate major phytochemical constituents, acute toxicity and genotoxicity of the aqueous extract. The phytochemical screening was carried out using chemical methods; acute toxicity test was performed using zebrafish as a model organism and genotoxicity potential was evaluated by in vitro plasmid DNA fragmentation analysis. Our results show that the exposure of aqueous extracts of Croton tiglium cause increase plasmid DNA strand breakage in a dose dependent manner. The aqueous extract of Croton tiglium also showed pisicidal activity. So, the plant extract need to be evaluated for its long term human health hazards and safety thoroughly before it could be used for therapeutic medicinal interventions.
    International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications. 01/2014; 4(1):p2579.

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 1, 2014