Affiliations: *Division of Medicinal Plant Research and Development
**Division of Clinical Pathology , Department of Medical Sciences
Source: Bulletin of Department of Medical Sciences 1996; 38(3): 169-191
Language: Thai with English abstract
Tripala, a preparation of thai traditional medicine used to adjust patient’s element during summer, is composed of dried fruits of three medicinal plants, namely Terminalia bellerica, Terminalia chebula and Phyllanthus emblica at different ratios based on traditional diagnosis of patients. Pitta formula of Tripala, used to normalize the fire element in summer, consists of 12 parts of T. bellerica, 8 parts of T. chebula and 4 parts of P. emblica. Wata formula of Tripala, for the treatment of wind element in summer, is composed of 4 parts of T. bellerica, 12 parts of T. chebula and 8 parts of P. emblica. Samha formula of Tripala, for the treatment of water element in summer, contains 8 parts of T. bellerica, 4 parts of T. chebula and 12 parts of P. emblica.
Subacute toxicity studies of water extracts of the three formulae of Tripala were performed in Wistar rats. The extracts were administered orally once daily for ten days at the doses of 0.36, 2.88 and 23.04 g of crude drug/ kg BW/day, equivalent to 1, 8 and 64 folds of therapeutic dose, respectively. It was found that almost all of the groups of animals treated with Wata and Samha extracts had lower body weight and food consumption than those of the controls, while only male rats treated with high dose Pitta extract had lower body weight than the controls. These findings may be the result of a relatively high tannin content present in the three components of Tripala. Hematological studies showed that all groups of female rats receiving Wata extract had decreased white blood cell numbers that were not correlated with the doses of the extract, while the extracts of Pitta and Samha formulas did not appear to affect any hematological parameters of the animals
Biochemical studies of the serum samples indicated that the high dose of the three extracts caused a significant reduction of total plasma protein and BUN levels in male rats. Similarly, female rats treated with the high dose of Pitta extract had a reduction of total protein and BUN levels. The effect of Tripala extracts on these two biochemical parameters is also likely to be due to tannin. In addition, all groups of male rats treated with Pitta and Wata extrect at the doses of 2.88 and 23.04 g/kg/day also significantly decreased serum globulin levels in male rats, while similar result was observed in female rats treated with the same doses of Pitta extract. Both male and female rats receving 23.04 g/kg/day of Pitta and Samha extracts had significantly lower serum creatinine levels than that of the controls. In contrast, the same dose of Wata extract caused a significant increase of serum creatinine levels. Histopathological examinations of liver and kidney tissue specimens indicated that the female was more susceptible to toxic effects of Tripala extracts than the male, In female rats treated with 23.04 g/kg/day of Pitta extract, the incidence of fatty change of the liver and nephrocalcinosis was significantly higher then that of the control group, while all groups of female rats receiving Wata extract had a higher incidence of nephrocalcinosis and hydrocalyx than of the controls. In contrast, pathological findings of animals treated with Samha extract were not different from those of the controls. The high content of tannin may account for the observed hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic effect of Tripala extracts.