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Year : 2001  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 81-85

Toxicity and the use of crotalaria species in a Zaria, (Nigeria) population

Department of Pharmacognosy and Drug Development, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

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H Nuhu
Department of Pharmacognosy and Drug Development, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
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The study was undertaken to investigate some factors associated with the consumption ofplant materials in ethno-medical practices and specif ically with regards to Crotalaria species. The genus Crotalaria is known to contain the hepatotoxic pyrolizidine alkaloids. A survey was ca"ied out using both written and oral questionnaires among two groups of respondent.'i name(v herbalists and Medical Doctors. The results revealed important elhJffJ­ medical practices and infornuliion relating to the use of the plants in traditional medicine, occurrence-of toxicity and a general ignorance of the potential toxicity among the populace. The survey also a history of consumption of herbs has been taken seriously into account in most cases by the medical doctors in diagnosis. Three mo.'it common pecies fount/ in Zaria, Nigeria, namely C.microcarpa. C. naragutensis anti C.retusa were further examined with respect to possible presence of hepatotoxic alkaloids. It was found that only C. retusa L. is a potential(v toxic plant These results suggest plants in a population should be considered as a factor in diagnosis.

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