Screening of medicinal plants used in South African traditional medicine for genotoxic effects. Toxicology Letters
Dichloromethane and 90% methanol extracts from 51 South African medicinal plants were evaluated for potential genotoxic effects using the bacterial Ames and VITOTOX† tests with and without metabolic activation. Dichloromethane extracts from bulbs of Crinum macowanii showed mutagenicity in strain TA98 with and without metabolic activation, whereas extracts from leaves of Chaetacme aristata and foliage of Plumbago auriculata showed mutagenicity and/or toxicity. Extracts from the leaves of Catharanthus roseus and twigs of Combretum mkhzense were mutagenic with metabolic activation only. The only 90% methanol extracts that were mutagenic in strain TA98 were from the leaves of C. roseus and Ziziphus mucronata in the presence of metabolic activation. No genotoxic effects were found in strain TA100 or in the VITOTOX† test.