Calliandra portoricensis is widely used in South Eastern part of Nigeria for the specific treatment of snakebite. In this study, the acute oral toxicity studies of the extracts in mice and phytochemical screening of the extracts for bioactive principles (secondary metabolites) was conducted. The LD50 value of the whole ethanolic extract of Calliandra portoricensis in mice was found to be 150mg/kg. The extract was relatively toxic in mice. The preliminary phytochemical screening of the extract revealed the presence of alkaloids, glycosides, saponins, tannins, flavonoids, reducing compounds, polyphenols, anthraquines and hydroxymethyl anthraquines in the extracts of the fresh root and leaf. However, anthraquines were absent in the dry root and leaf. Tannins and hydroxymethyl anthraquine were not detected but flavonoids and polyphenols were present in the fresh and dry root and leaf extracts. The results provide some justification for the use of this plant ethnomedically but with caution to avoid toxic reactions.
Calliandra portoricensis, Extracts, Venom, Phospholipase A2, Envenomation.