INVESTIGATE THE HISTOMORPHOLOGICAL EFFECT OF PENNISETUM PURPUREUM LEAF EXTRACT ON THE KIDNEY OF AN ALBINO RAT
Pennisetum purpureum (Schumach) commonly known as elephant grass or Napier grass, is a tall grassy perennial plant in Poaceae family (Obi et al., 2008; Cowell, 2009; Feedipedia, 2015). Though a native of sub- tropical Africa, it now exists in most tropical and sub-tropical countries of the world as a weed or planted crop that is largely produced and used for livestock feed (Obi et al., 2008).
The apical ends of culms or stems of Napier grass plants usually have
whorled tender young leaves before flowering (Cowell, 2009). The common two varieties of the plant found in Nigeria are those with purple stem and light green stem; that are respectively known in local Igbo dialects as Achara Ibeku and Achara Ngwa cultivars.
The naturally sheathed tender young leaves of Napier grass which is cherished as a soup vegetable especially amongst Ngwa and Umuahia-Ibeku clans of Igbo people of Abia State, Nigeria (Okaraonye and Ikewuchi, 2009) and some of their surrounding neighbors is also known as Achara in the local Igbo dialects.
The ethnic soup that is prepared with this leafy vegetable is called Ofe Achara (Okaraonye and Ikewuchi, 2009). The Igbo people consume this soup with complimentary ethnic viscous starchy pastes, such as yam fufu and eba (Ukpabi and Ndimele, 1990; Ukpabi and Oti, 2010).
Presently, this perishable leafy vegetable from Napier grass is being marketed in Nigeria. Furthermore, the nutritional data on this leafy vegetable did not indicate varietal effect on its nutritional composition (Okaraonye and Ikewuchi, 2009) and another study indicated that the experimental fresh leaf samples of Achara Ibeku variety are potential sources of dietary protein and antioxidants.
The importance of medicinal plants and traditional health systems to solve the problems of health care in the world is gaining more and more attention, unfortunately a lot of Nigerian consumed this leaf without having knowledge of the possible side effects of the vegetable. In the study carried out by Onwuchekwa and Aliyu, (2015), they found out that the methanolic extract of Pennisetum purpureum have an ameliorative effect on gastric ulcer, while some study report that Pennisetum purpureum when consumed causes gastro-intestinal disturbances.
The kidney is a vital organ in the body that plays an important role in production of urine, maintenance of acid base balance and production of certain hormones (Okoli, 2015). Alteration to the morphological features of the kidney can affect its function thereby leading to a disease condition.
There is limited knowledge on the negative effect of phytochemicals as an injurious substance, the kidney is actively involved in the removal of metabolic waste from the body, and some of the substances found in natural herb are injurious to the kidney, causing a distortion to the histomorphology of the kidney. When the kidney is been subjected to this injurious substance for a long period of time, there is a likely tendency that inflammation of the kidney may occur which may lead to acute kidney disease. Napier grass is consumed without the knowledge of the dose that is suitable for the body normal function, thereby predisposing the kidney to damage. The present study is aimed at investigating the histomorphological effect of Pennisetum purpureum extract on the kidney.
Herbs play a role in the management of various liver disorders, most of which speed up the natural healing processes of the liver (Rama et al., 2016).
Since ancient times, people have been exploring nature, particularly plants, in search of new drugs, and this has resulted in the use of a large number of medicinal plants with curative properties to treat various diseases (Ramesh, et al., 2016).
While elephant grass leaf extract has been used to fight infections, lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and for weight loss, clinical trials are generally lacking for therapeutic applications, and the harmful effect of an overdose of the drug.
Therefore the purpose of this study is to investigate the histomorphological effect of Pennisetum purpureum leaf extract on the kidney of an albino rat.
1.2 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The aim of this study is to investigate the histomorphological effect of Pennisetum purpureum leaf extract on the kidney of an albino rat.
The specific objective of this study is as follow: