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This study was aimed at evaluating the efficacy of Viscum album (mistletoe) and Garcinia kola seed (bitter kola) in treating Rat liver against CCl4-induced liver injury. Mistletoe and bitter Kola are used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various disorders, including hepatic disorders. Biochemical parameters and histological structure were assessed and used as a measure of the therapeutic potential of the herbs against CCl4 induced liver injury. The experimental animals (15 male wistar albino rats) weighing between 100-120 g were randomly divided into three (3) groups. Each group comprised 5 rats and was labeled as group 1, 2 or 3. Group 1 (negative control) animals were administered saline orally daily for 6 weeks (1 ml volume per kg body weight) while group 2 (CCl4 group) animals were administered CCl4 mixed with olive oil as vehicle in 1:1 ratio (3 ml/kg body weight). Group 3 represented the treatment group with extracts of the two herbal plants (250 mg/kg daily). The combination of the herbal extracts administered orally for 6weeks showed a significant decrease (P<0.05) in serum protein, albumin, total bilirubin and conjugated bilirubin concentrations and in serum activities of AST, ALT, ALP and GGT compared with CCl4-induced increases in concentrations or activities of the aforementioned biochemical parameters. Histological examination of the liver of CCl4–treated rats with the combined herbal extracts showed less destruction of liver architecture in comparison to the group induced with CCl4 only. The results indicated that the combination herbal extracts investigated (mistletoe and bitter kola) had therapeutic effect against CCL4-induced liver injury when used either in combination and this effect could be due to the phytochemicals present in the herbs.
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