Jatropha Curcas Case Study

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1. INTRODUCTION
Herbs and herbal preparations are in use for the treatment of various diseases throughout human history. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, 70–80% of the world’s population appeals to plant-derived traditional treatment methods for the solution of health problems (I. Ahmad et al., 2006).However, it is well known that consumption of plants and plant products, of which the content and the toxicity profile and safe dose were not determined, by humans and animals may cause severe toxicity problems (A. Shirwaikar et al., 2009).
Herbal medicine has remained the source of healthcare in most rural communities of Africa in view of the fact that modern health care services are out of reach of the people (Elujoba
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Diterpenes from different species of Jatropha curcas (JC) have a wide range of biological activities including tumor promoting, irritant, cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, molluscidal, insecticidal and fungicidal activities (Rakshit et al., 2010). During the past two decades, Jatropha curcas has attracted a lot of interest particularly for its oil, which can be used for biodiesel production (Kumar and Sharma, 2008). Apart from the ethno medical uses and agro-feed potential of Jatropha curcas seeds and the potential for production of biodiesel, toxic properties have also been adduced to parts of the plant, especially the seeds (El Badawi et al., 1995). Moreover, several cases of Jatropha curcas nut poisoning in humans have been reported following accidental consumption of the seeds with symptoms of giddiness, vomiting, diarrhoea and in extreme cases death (Abdu- Aguye, 1986). Methanol extract of Jatropha curcas stem bark and leaves from India was reported to be slightly toxic in rats following IP and oral administration with an LD50 of 2,000 mg/kg (Sacdeva et al.; 2012) and 2,500 mg/kg (Mishra et al.; 2012)

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