Evaluation of processed borax as antidote for aconite poisoning

Prasanta Kumar Sarkar, Pradeep K. Prajapati, Vinay J. Shukla, Basavaiah Ravishankar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Ethnopharmacological relevance Aconite root is very poisonous; causes cardiac arrhythmias, ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. There is no specific antidote for aconite poisoning. In Ayurveda, dehydrated borax is mentioned for management of aconite poisoning. Aim of the study The investigation evaluated antidotal effect of processed borax against acute and sub-acute toxicity, cardiac toxicity and neuro-muscular toxicity caused by raw aconite. Materials and methods For acute protection Study, single dose of toxicant (35 mg/kg) and test drug (22.5 mg/kg and 112.5 mg/kg) was administered orally, and then 24 h survival of animals was observed. The schedule was continued for 30 days in sub-acute protection Study with daily doses of toxicant (6.25 mg/kg), test drug (22.5 mg/kg and 112.5 mg/kg) and vehicle. Hematological and biochemical tests of blood and serum, histopathology of vital organs were carried out. The cardiac activity Study was continued for 30 days with daily doses of toxicant (6.25 mg/kg), test drug (22.5 mg/kg), processed borax solution (22.5 mg/kg) and vehicle; ECG was taken after 1 h of drug administration on 1TB, 15th and on 30th day. For neuro-muscular activity Study, the leech dorsal muscle response to 2.5 µg of acetylcholine followed by response of toxicant at 25 µg and 50 µg doses and then response of test drug at 25 µg dose were recorded. Results Protection index indicates that treated borax gave protection to 50% rats exposed to the lethal dose of toxicant in acute protection Study. Most of the changes in hematological, biochemical parameters and histopathological Study induced by the toxicant in sub-acute protection Study were reversed significantly by the test drug treatment. The ventricular premature beat and ventricular tachyarrhythmia caused by the toxicant were reversed by the test drug indicate reversal of toxicant induced cardio-toxicity. The acetylcholine induced contractions in leech muscle were inhibited by toxicant and it was reversed by test drug treatment. Conclusion The processed borax solution is found as an effective protective agent to acute and sub-acute aconite poisoning, and aconite induced cardiac and neuro-muscular toxicity. Processed borax at therapeutic dose (22.5 mg/kg) has shown better antidotal activity profile than five times more than therapeutic dose (112.5 mg/kg).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-146
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
StatePublished - 9 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Aconite
  • Acute protection
  • Borax
  • Cardiac activity
  • Neuro-muscular activity
  • Sub-acute protection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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