Free Radical Scavenging Effect of Aqueous Extract of Salacia nitida Root Bark against Alcohol-Induced Hepatic Stress in Wistar Rats


  • Nicodemus E. Nwankwo Natural Science Unit, School of General Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria
  • Barine I. Nwiloh Natural Science Unit, School of General Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria
  • Parker E. Joshua Department of Biochemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria


Antioxidants, Liver injury, Oxidative stress, Reactive oxygen species, Root bark, Salacia nitida


Alcoholic decoction of Salacia nitida root bark is used for the treatment of malaria, and prolonged alcohol dependence causes an imbalance in antioxidants. This study evaluated the free radical scavenging effect of aqueous extract of Salacia nitida root bark against ethanol-induced hepatic stress in rats. Thirty-six rats (210-290 g) divided into 6 groups with 6 rats each were used. Rats in groups A were given physiological saline, B given ethanol daily for 18 days without treatment and C–F given ethanol for 18 days then treated with 800, 1000, 1200 mg/kg of the extract, and 25 mg/kg of silymarin daily for further 18 days. Liver homogenate was prepared at the end of the experimental period and used for analyses of malondialdehyde and some antioxidant enzymes. Data were statistically analyzed using ANOVA and results considered significant at 95% confidence level (p < 0.05). Results showed that Salacia nitida root bark extract was safe and also, showed that treatments of ethanol-induced liver injury in groups C – E rats with the extract significantly (p < 0.05) decreased the levels of malondialdehyde, glutamyl S-transferase, and increased activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione reductase, while the level of glutathione was non-significantly (p > 0.05) raised compared to rats in group B. Therefore, aqueous extract of Salacia nitida root bark ameliorated ethanol-induced oxidative stress in hepatic tissues of the experimental rats, which may play a significant role in the manufacture of antioxidants that could be used to manage liver problems. 

Author Biographies

Nicodemus E. Nwankwo, Natural Science Unit, School of General Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria

Department of Biochemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria

Barine I. Nwiloh, Natural Science Unit, School of General Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria

Department of Biochemistry, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria


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How to Cite

E. Nwankwo, N., I. Nwiloh, B., & E. Joshua, P. (2021). Free Radical Scavenging Effect of Aqueous Extract of Salacia nitida Root Bark against Alcohol-Induced Hepatic Stress in Wistar Rats: Tropical Journal of Natural Product Research (TJNPR), 5(1), 205–210. Retrieved from

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