The objective of the study is to investigate whether the Hibiscus aethiopicus L. plant has neutralization activity against venoms of two clinically important snakes. The H. aethiopicus was dried and extracted with water. Different assays were performed to evaluate the plant's acute toxicity and its anti-snake venom activities. The results showed that H. aethiopicus extract alone had no effect on the viability of C2C12 muscle cells, but significantly (P<.05) protected muscle cells against the toxic effects of E. ocellatus venom at 55, 150, and 300g/mL. The maximum protective effect of the extract was exhibited at 75g/mL. The extract significantly (P<.001) inhibited the cytotoxic effects of E. ocellatus venom at 300g/mL. All rabbits (n=10) and guinea pigs (n=10) were alive after the two weeks of given the lethal dosage 16g/Kg of the H. aethiopicus extract herbal solution. No abnormal behaviour was observed of both groups of animals. All guinea pigs (n=3) treated with venoms alone (5mg/kg) died. However, all guinea pigs (n=21) treated with venom (5mg/kg) and the extract (400 to 1000mg/kg) survived. Guinea pigs (n=3) treated with Naja n. nigricollis venom alone (2.5mg/kg) and guinea pigs (n=21) venom with the extract (400 to 1000mg/kg) died. The H. aethiopicus completely (100) blocked the haemorrhagic activity of E. ocellatus in the egg embryo at 3.3mg/mL of extract. These findings suggest that H. aethiopicus may contain an endogenous inhibitor of venom-induced haemorrhage.
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