Research Article: Investigation into the Toxicity of Traditional Uyghur Medicine Quercus Infectoria Galls Water Extract


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Traditional medicines. By Marco Schmidt [1] – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Investigation into the Toxicity of Traditional Uyghur Medicine Quercus Infectoria Galls Water Extract

Date Published: March 7, 2014

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Mubarak Iminjan, Nurmuhammat Amat, Xiao-Hui Li, Halmurat Upur, Dilnur Ahmat, Bin He, Xianglin Shi.


Quercus infectoria galls (QIG) is being widely used in Traditional Uyghur Medicine. To gather preclinical safety information for the aqueous extract of QIG, a toxicity study was performed.

Subject animals were randomized, and devided into exposure and control groups. In the acute toxicity phase, three different doses—5, 7.5, and 10 g/kg, respectively—were administered via enema to imprinting control region (ICR) mice. An experiment using the maximum tolerance dose (MTD) i.e.10 g/kg was also performed. Data were gathered for 14 days, and study parameters were clinical signs, body weight, general behavior, adverse effects and mortality. At the day 14, major organs of the subjects were examined histologically. Chronic toxicity was also evaluated in Wistar rats for over 180 consecutive days. The rats were divided into three groups with different doses of 0.2 g/kg, 0.8 g/kg, and 2 g/kg, QIG. Furthermore, observations were carried out in rabbits to investigate if there were signs of irritation.

In comparison to control group, acute, chronic toxicity and mortality were not significantly increased in exposure group.

Study result suggests that the aqueous extract of QIG is unlikely to have significant toxicity and that clinical trials may proceed safely.

Partial Text

The galls of the Quercus infectoria Olivier plant (also known as the Gall Oak or Quercus Lusitanica in the family Fagaceae) grow as a result of infections of trees or shrubs by the Cynips gallae tinctoriae wasp. These plants are mainly found in Greece, Asia Minor, Syria and Iran. Quercuse infectoria galls (QIG, also known as Galla Turcica) are known to have multiple therapeutic properties and used widely in several traditional medicine as an astringent or an anti–inflammatory agent [1], [2]. Pharmacologically, QIG has demonstrated various effects such as astringent, antiparkinsonian, anti-tumor, antidiabetic, local anesthetic, antipyretic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal activity [3]–[7]. QIG is consisted of a large amount of tannins (50%∼70%), gallic acid, syringic acid, ellagic acid, sitosterol, amentoflavone, hexamethyl ether, isocryptomerin, methyl betulate, methyloleanate and hexagalloyl glucose [8]–[10].The chemical components of QIG include five main substances such as gallic acid, m-digallic acid, methyl gallate,1,2,3,6-tetra-O- galloyl-β-D-glucose and 1,2,3,4,6-Penta-O-galloyl-β-D-glucose. Therefore, a quality control standard for QIG has been established [11].

Plant-derived medicines continue to be used throughout the world, and many major drugs have historically been extracted from plants. Herbal medicines are commonly used in alternative medical practice [22]–[24]. The therapeutic use of plant products is increasingly popular as more consumers have faith in their benefits and in their purported absence of adverse effects [25]. However, the rationale for the utilization of medical plants has rested largely on experiences of clinical practitioners with little or no scientific data on their efficacy and safety [26].

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Keywords: traditional medicine, alternative drugs



Related External Link:

Traditional Uyghur Medicine: Concepts, Historical Perspective, and Modernization