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Open Access Research article

Biochemical and haematological assessment of toxic effects of the leaf ethanol extract of Petroselinum crispum (Mill) Nyman ex A.W. Hill (Parsley) in rats

Emmanuel Olorunju Awe1* and S Olatunbosun Banjoko23

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, College of Health Sciences, Ladoke,Akintola University of Technology, Osogbo campus, P.M.B 4000, Ogbomoso, Nigeria

2 Department of Chemical Pathology, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

3 Institute of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:75  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-75

Published: 4 April 2013



Petroselinum crispum, a bright green biennial shrub is widely used traditionally as a food additive and herbal remedies for many ailments. This study therefore aimed to assess the toxic effects of its leaf extract using some biochemical, haematological parameters.


The toxic effects were assessed by quantifying liver enzymes such as serum aspartate amino transferase (AST), alanine amino transferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total serum protein and liver weight. Effects on haematological parameters were assessed by analysis of parked cell volume (PCV), red blood cell count (RBC), white blood cells (WBC) and haemoglobin (Hb) concentrations. Histopathological studies were done on the liver and kidneys.


The extract caused significant increase in serum activity of alanine amino transferase and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels at the dose of 1000 mg/kg. Other biochemical and haematological parameters were not affected at lower doses. Conversely, the liver weight was not affected after eight weeks of treatment at the dose levels studied. The organs obtained for pathological study, were structurally unchanged under histopathological evaluation at lower doses but inflammatory and necrotic features were observed at doses ≥ 1000 mg/kg.


The results indicate that the leaf ethanol extract of Petroselinum crispum was hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic at continued oral doses equal to or more than 1000 mg/kg, but no obvious toxicity when used at lower doses. Therefore, there should be caution in its administration to avoid overdosing and known interaction with some medications. In addition, the plant should be kept away from pets and domestic animals and should not be cultivated on soil irrigated with waste water due to their ability to bio-accumulate toxic metals.

Ethanol extract; Petroselinum crispum (Parsley); Toxicity; Haematology and biochemistry; Histopathology; Rats