Acute toxicity and mutagenic activity of Mexican plants used in traditional medicine
The present work was undertaken to determine safety parameters of selected Mexican medicinal plants chosen on the basis of their frequency of medicinal use and commercial importance. The medicinal herbs included Amphipteryngium adstringens, Hintonia standleyana, Hintonia latiflora, Piper sanctum, Haemathoxylon brasiletto, Iostephane heterophylla, Valeriana procera, Arracacia tolucensis, Brickellia veronicaefolia, Scaphyglottis livida, Exostema caribaeum, Hippocratea excelsa, Ligusticum porteri, Poliomintha longiflora and Gnaphalium sp. In the acute toxicity studies in mice performed according to the Lorke procedure, Exostema caribaeum, Hippocratea excelsa, Ligusticum porteri and Poliomintha longiflora were the most toxic with LD50 values between 1085 and 2 mg/kg. The Ames test revealed that Gnaphalium sp. and Valeriana procera extracts induced mutations of S. typhimurium TA98 with or without the S9 microsomal fraction, and TA100 in the presence of the enzymatic fraction, respectively. The tincture of Valeriana procera, however, was non-mutagenic. Finally, in the Artemia salina lethality test Brickellia veronicaefolia, Arracacia tolucensis, Poliomintha longiflora and Piper sanctum caused significant mortality of the crustacean larvae with LC50 in the range of 37–227 Î¼g/mL.