Background: The Eucalyptus globulus extractions have been used by the traditional healers to treat diseases in the study area. Our previous study revealed that the essential oil has antimicrobial and antifungal activity. This study determined phytochemical analysis, skin irritation, acute and subacute toxicity of Eucalyptus globulus essential oil in mice and rats.
Methods: The phytochemicals were analyzed using GC-MS mass spectrometry. The acute toxicity study was determined at three dose levels of 1500 mg/kg, 1750mg/kg, and 2000 mg/kg. The essential oil limit test at a dose of 1000 mg/kg was administered to mice for 28 consecutive days for sub-acute toxicity study. The mice mortality, behavioral change, injury and other signs of illness were recorded once daily. Biochemical parameters were evaluated. Liver and kidney were analyzed for histopathological analyses. The 5% ointment formulation was applied to the rat skin to determine skin irritation effects.
Results: The Eucalyptus globulus essential oil showed no effect on the mice at a dose of 1500mg/kg and below, but caused signs of toxicity and death at a dose of 1750mg/kg and above compared to the controls (p<0.05). The LD50 value was 1650 mg/kg. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) in the body weights, gross abnormalities of the organs and biochemical parameters compared to the control at 1000 mg/kg subacute toxicity study. No histopathological changes were detected in the organs tested. The 5% ointment formulation did not show any abnormal skin reaction.
Discussion: In the present study, the Eucalyptus globulus essential oil was comparable with other studies in terms of both chemical composition and its effects on sub-acute and topical application.
Conclusion: This toxicity study demonstrated that Eucalyptus globulus essential oil is nontoxic at a relatively lower concentration.