Mohd Fuat Abdul Razak and Kofi E Aidoo (2011). Toxicity studies of Eurycoma longifolia (Jack)-based remedial products. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research 4(3): 23-27
Eurycoma longifolia Jack is a popular herb that is commonly mixed with other reputedly nontoxic herbs in a non-traditional (new) formulation. In this study, the effect of mixing herbs in a polyherbal product on the overall toxicity status of the polyherbal products was studied using three commercial polyherbal products containing mixture of E. longifolia with other herbs, a product which contains only E. longifolia and an authenticated E. longifolia. Eurycoma longifolia or the herbal products were extracted with methanol-chloroform and the extracts were challenged with human cells, Hep2. Effects of the extracts on Hep2 cells viability was analysed using 3-4,5-dimethylthiazole-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The extracts were also tested for mutagenicity using Ames test employing Salmonella TA98 and Salmonella TA100. Cadmium, As, Pb, Mn and Cu content of the products were analysed by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. IC50 of crude extract of pure E. longifolia and a product containing only E. longifolia was 22.23 ?g ml-1 and 50.00 ?g ml-1, respectively. Two of the polyherbal products had IC50 of 15.20 ?g ml-1and 18.89 ?g ml-1, respectively. All extracts, except a product containing mixture of E. longifolia and Cistanche deserticola, was not mutagenic. Heavy metals were detected in very low concentrations in all products. Under the condition of this study, it can be concluded that there is a risk of increased cytotoxicity and mutagenicity of extract of E. longifolia-based remedies compared to the toxicity of remedies containing solely E. longifolia. Toxicity of newly formulated polyherbal products cannot be deduced from the information of the toxicity of each individual component of the polyherbal products.