Effect of Bulbine natalensis Baker stem extract on the functional indices and histology of the liver and kidney of male Wistar rats

J Med Food. 2009 Aug;12(4):814-20. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2008.0221.


The effects of aqueous extract of Bulbine natalensis Baker stem at 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg of body weight for 14 days on the functional indices of liver and kidney as well as the histology of the rat organs were evaluated. The extract did not significantly (P < .05) alter the total protein, sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, uric acid, and creatinine levels in the serum of rats. However, the 50 and 100 mg/kg of body weight doses reduced the liver- and kidney-body weight ratios by the end of the experimental period. While the extract increased the activities of liver gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine and aspartate aminotransferase (ALT and AST, respectively), and total bilirubin, globulin, and urea, the levels of albumin, conjugated bilirubin, inorganic phosphorus, and kidney ALP and GGT decreased. The activities of serum ALP, GGT, ALT, and AST also increased throughout the experimental period. The extract produced higher effects on the liver functional indices (39%) than the kidney parameters (21%). Histological examination revealed slight distortions in the architecture of the liver lobules as well as proximal and convoluted tubules of the kidney. The alterations produced in some of the functional indices as well as in the hepatorenal architecture may adversely affect the normal hepatic and renal functions. The parameter-specific effect of the extract suggests selective toxicity. This is an indication that the extract is not completely "safe" as an oral remedy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Albumins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Bilirubin / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzymes / blood
  • Enzymes / metabolism
  • Globulins / metabolism
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Liliaceae / toxicity*
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Organ Size
  • Phosphorus / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity*
  • Plant Stems
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Urea / metabolism


  • Albumins
  • Biomarkers
  • Enzymes
  • Globulins
  • Plant Extracts
  • Phosphorus
  • Urea
  • Bilirubin