Franklyn Okechukwu Ohiagu1, Paul Chidoka Chikezie1,*, Chinwendu Maureen Chikezie2
1Department of Biochemistry, Imo State University, Owerri, NIGERIA.
2Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, NIGERIA.
Aim/Background: The evaluation of toxicological significance of medicinal plants is necessary prior to their use for drug development or for the purpose of improving the therapeutic efficacy of existing therapies. Regrettably, there is little information on the toxicity profiles of the chemical constituents of commonly used medicinal plants. Meanwhile, available information on the toxicity concerns of the use of medicinal plants are often taken for granted and ignored. Materials and Methods: The information and data used in this review report were sourced from scientific databases such as Google Scholar, PubMed, SpringerLink, Medline, ScienceDirect, and Mendeley. Results: The noxious chemical compounds in plants may be neurotoxic, mutagenic or cytotoxic. They may disrupt metabolic processes in living organisms and adversely affect the skin and the mucosal tissues, etc. It is noteworthy that the beneficial as well as the toxicological outcomes following the use of plant materials depends on the chemical nature of their constituent bioactive compounds. Conclusion: Plants, especially those used for ethnomedicinal purposes, contain significant amounts of noxious bioactive compounds, which may elicit adverse health effects on both humans and other animals. The isolation and purification of plant bioactive compounds for toxicological evaluation prior to their usage in the development of pharmaceutical formulations is recommended.