The extract of the leaves of viscum album
(mistletoe) has been used for centuries in traditional medicine in
many parts of the world. However, like many medicinal plants, the belief that things of natural origin are safe may not be
entirely true. The blood is a good indicator of health and pathological mirror of the entire body.
Therefore, in this study, the acute effects of extracts of mistletoe, harvested from three hosts, on haematology
indices of wistar albino rats was investigated.
Graded doses (400, 800, 1600 and 3200mg/kg body weight) of aqueous extracts of mistletoe from three different
host plants, coffee (Coffee arabica
), kola (Kola nitida
), cocoa (Theobromae cacao
), were administered orally to wistar albino
rats for 14 days. Full haematological parameters were evaluated on whole blood collected from rats twenty four hours after
the administration of the last dose.
Mistletoe from kola caused a concentration dependent and statistically significant (p<0.05) reduction in platelets
count in rats. Administration of mistletoe extract from cocoa and coffee led to reduction in hemoglobin concentration. Reductions
in packed cell volume (PCV) and red blood cell (RBC) and increase in white blood cells (WBC) were also observed
in rats administered all the extracts.
Increase in the WBC count observed in rats administered mistletoe suggests that mistletoe extract contains
agents that could stimulate the production of leucocytes and could serve as immune booster. However, there is need to be
cautious in administration at high doses to prevent the risk of anaemia.