Objective: As data on the safety profile of Panax ginseng and Hericium erinaceum is lacking, the safety of these two compounds was examined in a series of toxicological studies.
Materials and methods: MUNOPHIL, the water extract mixture of Panax ginseng and Hericium erinaceum was tested in an oral subchronic 28-day toxicity study in rats at doses of 1250, 2500 and 5000 mg/kg/day.
Results: In repeated dose toxicity studies, no mortality was observed when varying doses of the extracts were administered once daily for a period of 28 days. There were no significant differences in body weight, absolute and relative organ weights between controls and treated rats of both sexes. Hematological analysis showed no differences in most parameters examined. In the biochemistry parameter analysis, no significant change occurred. Pathologically, neither gross abnormalities nor histopathological changes were observed. Therefore, MUNOPHIL appears to be safe and non-toxic in these studies and a no-observed adverse effect level in rats was established at 5000 mg/kg/day.
Conclusion: The data could provide satisfactory preclinical evidence of safety to launch clinical trials on standardized formulation of plant extracts.