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Pueraria mirifica Airy Shaw and Suvatabandhu or White Kwao Keur has been used in folk medicine as a rejuvenating agent for the elderly. To date, toxicological data of this plant are still incomplete and therefore the six-month chronic toxicity study was undertaken. Wistar rats of each sex were orally administered Pueraria mirifica powder (PM) at the doses of 10, 50 and 250 mg/kg/day whereas the control group received water at 10 ml/kg/day for 6 months. The significantly decreased body weights were observed in both male and female rats receiving PM at the doses of 50 and 250 mg/kg/day. Food consumptions were suppressed in PM-treated male rats at the doses of 50 and 250 mg/kg/day and also in the highest dose treated female rats. During the experiment, some rats receiving PM had alopecia for two weeks and then recovered. Hematology revealed that PM at the dose of 250 mg/kg/day produced significant decreases of hematocrit, RBC and hemoglobin in both sexes of rats. Triglyceride levels in the female rats treated with 250 mg/kg/day of PM were significantly increased. Cholesterol levels were significantly decreased in male rats receiving PM at the doses of 50 and 250 mg/kg/day and in female rats at the highest dose. The testicular weight of male rats receiving the highest dose of PM was significantly decreased whereas the uterine weight of female rats receiving this dose was significantly increased. Histopathological examinations of visceral organs revealed no changes related to the toxicity of P. mirifica except that male rats receiving the highest dose of PM had significantly higher incidence of kidney tubular cysts. Results of the study indicated that prolonged administration of 10 mg/kg/day P. mirifica did not cause any hematological and biochemical alterations. Nor did pathology of the internal organs indicating the toxicity at this dose.
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