Effects of Detoxification on some Pharmacological Properties of Jatropha : Current School News

Effects of Detoxification on some Pharmacological Properties of Jatropha Curcas Linn. (EUPHORBIACEAE) Seed Oil in Laboratory Animals



Effects of Detoxification on some Pharmacological Properties of Jatropha Curcas Linn. (EUPHORBIACEAE) Seed Oil in Laboratory Animals.


Jatropha curcas seed oil is a known energy source in biodiesel which but for its toxicity, also has potential of being used as food and in the pharmaceutical/cosmetic industries. This study was designed to detoxify solvent and mechanically extracted J. Curcas oils and to ascertain the effects of detoxification on acute and sub-acute toxicities as well as on analgesic and laxative activities in laboratory animals.

Following determination of the physicochemical properties of the extracted oils, detoxification of the oils was attempted by both the usual synthetic method of orthophosphoric acid degumming, sodium hydroxide deacidification, tonsil decolorization, and vacuum-heat deodorization.

And by the use of natural materials in place of the synthetic agents such as distilled water for orthophosphoric acid, plantain peel ash extract for sodium hydroxide and bentonite for tonsil. Phytoconstituents, elemental and phorbol esters compositions of the oils were also determined.

Acute toxicity studies for LD50 determination and sub-acute (14 days) studies for toxicity symptoms of the mechanically extracted oil in male rats were carried out. Weight changes, mortality, hematological liver/kidney assessment as well as histopathological analyses of liver, kidney and intestines were checked.

Wherever appropriate olive oil was used as vehicular control. Statistical analyses were by ANOVA with appropriate post hoc tests. The extraction yields of the oils were 49.1% (petroleum ether solvent) and 14.9% (hand operated hydraulic screw press). The physicochemical properties of the extracted oils were similar. Alkaloids were the only phytoconstituent present in both the undetoxified and detoxified oils.


Plants are a rich source of many natural products most of which have been extensively used for human welfare including treatment of various diseases (Meskin, 2002; Haubrich, 2003). Medicinal plants have been used as a source of medicine to treat illness since time immemorial (Prasad et al., 2012; Eja et al., 2007).

Plants have provided a source of old and modern drugs, as plant-derived medicines have made large contributions to humans (Prasad et al., 2012; Tapsell et al., 2006). Their role is twofold in the development of new drugs: they may become the base for development of a medicine and a natural blueprint for the development of new drugs to be used for the treatment of diseases (Iwu, 1993).

Medicinal plants provide bountiful resource of active compounds for the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industries, and also in agriculture for pest control (Rice, 1995). For example, Arnica montana is used for treatment of osteoarthritis (Widrig et al., 2007) and Azadirachta indica is used in treatment of malaria and rheumatism (Ganguli, 2002).

Herbal medicinal plants are preferred to synthetic chemical agents because of higher cultural acceptability  and lesser side effects (Prasad et al., 2012). The chemical compounds present in herbal products are believed to have better compatibility with the human body (Khanna et al., 1986).


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CSN Team.



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